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GLENDALE, AZ-The local developer of the Westgate City Center has sold nine acres to a Midwest company to develop three hotels, totaling 450 rooms. The first project, a 149-room Hampton Inn & Suites fronting Loop 101 has just broken ground, with completion timed for year’s end to take advantage of the Tostitos Fiesta Bowl and Super Bowl XLII.

Local experts say land costs in the area hover $17 per sf, which would factor out to $6.6 million for the site at 6630 N. 95th Ave. The exact cost isn’t available for the direct deal between Westgate developer Ellman Cos. and the North Central Group of Madison, WI.

A spokeswoman with the North Central Group tells GlobeSt.com that the company is in discussion with other hotel brands for the other projects, but nothing concrete has been decided. She says the other two hotels could come on line within one to three years.

Brian Rosella, senior associate with Grubb & Ellis/BRE Commercial LLC’s land division, says the North Central Group is getting into the market with its hotel developments at a good time. Not only is the area around Westgate developing quickly, but the West Valley submarket in general is growing fast.

“There are a lot of events going on out there besides just the bowl games,” explains Rosella, who is uninvolved with the North Central Group deal, but is working on behalf of Rightpath to acquire nearby land for major league baseball spring training facilities and a general entertainment venue. Additionally, the hotels are attractive to those attending activities further west of the area. “The Nascar track is in Avondale,” he adds. “That’s two major races a year plus smaller stuff throughout the year.”

Rosella says non-sports events like conventions also mean the hotel developments are logical. “There isn’t any risk of overbuilding, right now,” he adds. “If they’re going at it this early in the game, they’ll be part of the first few going up so they’ll do all right.”

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