COMMERCE TOWNSHIP, MI-An 82-room hotel will soon join a recent influx of big box retail stores in this once quiet southwestern Oakland County community. Developers are pursuing building a Hampton Inn hotel on a 2.6-acre plot north of 14 Mile road, just east of M-5.

Once opened, the four-story inn would be the township’s first hotel, although neighboring communities such as Novi and Wixom boast several lodging businesses. The hotel construction is being pushed to open by December in time to house out-of-town football fans expected to come in for Detroit’s Super Bowl XL hosting in January 2006.

“We’re getting bigger developments, and people coming in from places like Ohio and Minnesota need a place to stay, so we’d ship them off to Novi,” says Paula Lankford, an assistant planner in Commerce Township. “The need is there to keep these folks closer to their work in Commerce, and we now have the population to support this even when they’re gone.”

Census numbers show the township’s population grew about 53% between 1990 and July 2004. The township boasts 33,969 residents, up from 22,156 in 1990.

“All the big players want a piece of the action,” says Basil Bakal, who with his brother Mike is a co-owner of the proposed Hampton Inn. “There’s lot of corporate demand and it’s developing very fast. It’s got all the elements for a successful hotel.”

The brothers plan to begin construction of the hotel as early as February. The Hampton will initially offer 82 rooms but has the space for a 24-room expansion.

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