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RICHARDSON, TX-The 342-room Omni Richardson Hotel, now in receivership, has been taken over by a new management company amid talks about whether the flag will stay on the franchised property in the Telecom Corridor.

The Dallas-based Prism Hotels has taken control as the property, assessed at $24.6 million, heads down a path that likely could end in foreclosure. Prism’s senior vice president, Susan Schmidt, is the court-appointed receiver for the 17-year-old hotel at 701 E. Campbell Rd., owned by Woodrow Corp. of Houston.

Schmidt says it’s too early to tell if the lender will foreclose and she’s not disclosing the debt. “Once we get a clearer picture of the property,” she tells GlobeSt.com, “a decision will be made.” The property could be deeded in lieu of debt to the REMIC lender, the note could be cured, the foreclosure could proceed or it could be sold out of receivership. The majority of cases end in foreclosure, she says. The lender is Wells Fargo Bank-Minnesota, trustee for commercial bondholders of the Commercial Mortgage Acceptance Corp. and a certificate series 1998, which filed its take-back case in the 162nd District Court in Dallas.

Prism president and CEO Steve Van confides talks have begun with Omni about retaining the flag. “That’s our intent,” he stresses. Prism isn’t contemplating any changes with the 110-member staff, but is evaluating if capital improvements are needed to hold onto the Omni name.

Van, an acknowledged hotel expert, says more and more financially strapped hotels are being threatened by their brand loss as numbers sag and maintenance is deferred during the ongoing hard times for the industry. Schmidt says the Omni Richardson closed 2002 with an occupancy in the mid- to high-40% range and RevPAR hovering at $40. The daily room rate was in the low $90 category.

The hotel, built in 1986, sits on seven acres of prime land in the Telecom Corridor, a submarket crippled by the tech wreck but one now emerging with more diversification in its ranks to avoid future economic curveballs. Schmidt says the hotel’s fiscal state can’t be blamed on any one factor. “Everything started to fall apart there prior to Sept. 11,” she says. “It was a combination of too many things all at once.”

Prism has about 50 properties in 15 states in its portfolio. Its partners include Winston Hotels, Sheraton, Hilton, GE Capital and GMAC.

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