PHOENIX-Marriott International Corp. has scrapped its plans to build two hotels on an 8.7-acre parcel at the intersection of Camelback Road and 16th Street. Instead, its sold the land to a pair of real estate investment firms planning to develop it into a new retail outlet.

Alliant Partners of Tampa Bay, FL and Orix Real Estate Equities of Chicago originally intended to buy half the parcel. Midway through negotiations, Marriott offered them the entire site for $10 million. “They decided midstream that for the price we were paying for the land we might as well take the whole thing,” Colliers International’s Larry Ortega tells

Marriott originally planned to build a Residence Inn and a Springfield Suites on the site, but scrapped the idea because of a downturn in the hospitality industry following the Sept. 11 terrorists’ attacks, Marriott’s representative in the deal, Art Cunningham of Cunningham Real Estate, said.

The new owners plan to partner to build an Eckerd drug store, bank, restaurant and about 20,000 sf of inline retail space, Ortega said. “We have a number of retailers who are already interested” in the property, he added. Circuit City has bought a portion of the land for another electronics store in the metro.

Construction on the new retail complex is expected to begin in first quarter 2003.Ortega represented the buyers in the transaction.

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