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DENVER-Developer Charlie Biederman, a co-founder of a company that is now Sunstone Hotels, plans to build a 196-room J.W. Marriott on the Sears Roebuck & Co. site in Cherry Creek. The 11-story building will be the first J.W. Marriott in the state.

There are only 23 J.W. Marriotts in the world, six of them in the US. Biederman, an architect by training, says the hotel will be the most luxurious in the Denver area when it opens in the spring of 2004. He anticipates the hotel will average room rates of about $170 per night, with an occupancy rate in the mid-60% range.

The hotel, to be built next to an office building for the mutual fund family of Janus, will get weekday business from Janus, as well as other office users in the area that lease a total of about 2 million sf, he says.

On weekends, he expects to draw visitors to nearby townhomes in Cherry Creek. He notes that the Cherry Creek shopping center across the street is often the No. 1 tourist attraction in the area.

“The demographics are great,” Biederman tells GlobeSt.com. “I think the average family income is about $100,000 in Cherry Creek. The only place that is higher is Cherry Hills, but Cherry Creek is more dense.”

Locally, investors in the hotel included real estate entrepreneur Doug Jones and oilman Steve Roitman. Biederman has not released the price of the hotel, but experts put it at about $40 million.

Biederman hired local architect David Tryba for the project, and Design Force of Denver as the interior designer.

“I try to hire local people wherever I can,” Biederman tells GlobeSt.com. “I’m not one of those people who believes that just because they’re from out of town, they’re better. I’ve lived all over the world, and I think the people in Denver are as talented as they are anywhere.”

The J.W. Marriott replaces an earlier proposal by Jeff Selby and Michael Brenneman, owners of the downtown Hotel Teatro. They planned a private boutique hotel that would be financed through the sale of hotel condominium units.

But Randy Nichols, the overall developer of the Sears site, says he doesn’t think a condo hotel would work in this market. He notes typical residential condo sales have slowed.

“It might work in New York City or in the mountains, but I don’t think in this tough market you can do a condo-hotel in Denver,” Nichols tells GlobeSt.com.

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