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WESTLAKE VILLAGE, CA-Former executives of the Marriott hotel group have acquired one of the few remaining commercial vacant land sites in all of Westlake Village, with plans to construct a 160-room Marriott Courtyard Hotel at the site as franchisees, according to Michael Foxworthy of the Camarillo office of GVA Daum.

Foxworthy reports that the execs, doing business as Huntington Hospitality Group, paid $6.4 million for the property at the southeast corner of Lindero Canyon and Russell Ranch roads. Foxworthy says the buyers plan to build a four-story hotel and will remarket two restaurant pad sites on the property, with construction expected to begin this quarter and be completed in late summer 2005. Foxworthy represented the seller of the development site, Richland Lindero Ltd., with the buyers represented by David G. Smith.

Demand for hotel space remains strong in Westlake Village and the rest of the Conejo Valley because of the presence of corporations such as Amgen, Baxter and Countrywide, notes Foxworthy, who says a substantial number of executives visit those companies and others on business and remain for extended stays.

The new Marriott will be under construction at a time when the number of new hotel rooms opening in most Southern California counties is decreasing and the number of new rooms being planned is also declining, according to a recent survey from Costa Mesa-based Atlas Hospitality Group. The survey, which tracked new hotel rooms opened, under construction and being planned throughout California for the first half of 2004, showed that Los Angeles was the only county where the number of new rooms opened was higher for the first half of 2004 than it was for the first half of 2003. Alan X. Reay, president of Atlas, says the slowing pace of construction and planning of new rooms should bode well for hotel owners as it minimizes new competition and as such points to higher long-term profitability.

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