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FORT WORTH-Elvis stayed there. But then, so did Bob Hope and Sammy Davis Jr. The point is that a 282-room hotel to the “stars” has been bought by Wilcox Capital Partners as its first acquisition for a new hotel division backed by a “high net-worth” crowd from Dallas and Fort Worth.

About $5.5 million was paid, with plans to invest an immediate $500,000 into the Green Oaks Hotel at 6901 W. Freeway, a “40-something” facility with a gateway positioning to Lockheed Martin Corp.’s plant, Carswell Air Force Base and a growing number of feeder companies scrambling for space on Fort Worth’s West Side. According to Tarrant County tax records, the hotel is assessed at $3.9 million.

Wilcox’s hotel division, with senior vice president Chris Morrow at the helm, bought the hotel from Miami’s Lennar Partners Inc., which has been the asset manager as a result of a November 2000 foreclosure by LaSalle Bank.

Morrow and Wilcox Capital Partners’ president Matt Herring are leading the hotel initiative, relying upon traditional debt and the capital pool to close the deals. Two other Texas hotels are being eyed for the portfolio being built from distressed properties now in the marketplace, Herring tells GlobeSt.com. Nothing is under contract.

Mercantile Bank & Trust provided a loan for the Green Oaks Hotel purchase. DePalma Hotel Corp. of Arlington was awarded the management contract.

The hotel is touted as the only full-service facility on the city’s West Side. The 12-acre property contains six two-story buildings, designed with 13,000 sf of meeting space and all the usual recreational amenities. It is positioned on the southeast corner of Interstate 30 and Texas 183.

Room renovations will begin in 2003. What is sure to stay, says Morrow, is the Elvis suite where a commemorative plaque is part of the decorations. “It’s a fun thing,” he says, “and everyone seems to enjoy it.”

Morrow didn’t have the hotel’s RevPar on hand, but did the occupancy–42%. That, he is convinced, will change drastically with a new look, local owners and local management. DePalma will put a five-member sales force on the streets to court corporate trade, according to Morrow.

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