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PRINCETON, NJ-Winston Hotels Inc. will break ground later this summer for construction of a 142-key Homewood Suites hotel within the Princeton Forrestal Center business campus here. If all goes according to schedule, the property will open for business in Q1 2007.

To get the ball rolling, the Raleigh, NC-based hotel REIT recently closed on the acquisition of a 4.5-acre site within Princeton Forrestal Center, paying just over $2.9 million for the tract. Including the purchase of the site, Winston officials expect the hotel to price out at a total of $19.6 million. Of that total, $12 million will be funded through a first mortgage loan from an undisclosed source, and the rest will come from available cash.

“Princeton has multiple demand generators, including Princeton University and many major corporate office operations,” says Joseph V. Green, president and CFO of Winston Hotels. “We have a track record in developing projects adjacent to major universities, and Princeton University is a mile away.

The Princeton-area office market, meanwhile, totals some 12 million sf of space, with about half of that within Princeton Forrestal Center alone. Winston’s Homewood Suites will become the third hotel property within the business campus, joining the Westin Princeton and the Doral Forrestal Hotel, Conference Center and Spa.

The upper mid-market Homewood Suites hotel brand is designed for business and leisure travelers with multiple-night stays. The property will include about 750 sf of business space, and will be operated by Alliance Hospitality.

The new hotel will be Winston’s third property in the Garden State–the company currently owns Holiday Inns in Secaucus and Tinton Falls. Overall, the REIT has nearly 50 properties aggregating some 6,900 hotel rooms in 15 states. Besides Homewood Suite and Holiday Inn, they operate under such brands as Courtyard by Marriott, Hampton Inn, Hilton Garden, Comfort Inn and Residence Inn, among others.

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