HOUSTON-Moody National Cos. is moving forward with its plans for a 142-room Hyatt Place Hotel, buying a 2.4-acre tract in Westchase Park. Ground will break in the fourth quarter on the hotel, which has an all-in development tab of $25 million.

Moody National acquired the land from Austin-based Simmons Vedder Partners, which is developing the two-building, 620,000-sf office component of the 21-acre Westchase Park at 3600 W. Sam Houston Parkway South. The site contains a Cinemark Tinseltown, will soon be demolished.

Brett C. Moody, chairman and CEO of the locally based firm, says the tract’s appeal is the seller is the park’s developer and that more office space will be coming on line. “The amount of office space coming into this market will require more hotel rooms,” Moody explains. “There’s also a lack of meeting space in the Westchase area.” The Hyatt Place, scheduled to deliver in late 2009, will have 6,500 sf of meeting space.

Moody tells GlobeSt.com that Westchase is a difficult submarket in which to develop because there is fierce competition for the remaining available land. “We’ve sought out every viable site there and will continue to pursue opportunities in the market,” he adds. Moody National’s acquisitions associate Alex Sims and the seller’s broker, Stan Creech of Stan Creech Properties Inc. in Houston, brokered the transaction.

Also, Moody says the company has commercial projects planned for the Texas Medical Center and Energy Corridor in the coming year although he isn’t ready to discuss any specifics. And, it’s planning or under construction with projects in Dallas, San Diego and New York City.

Moody says the remainder of this year will be focused on acquisitions and development. “The volatility in the markets has created great opportunities for Moody National to acquire equity-forced dispositions,” he says. “We’re excited about some relief on pricing, especially in the multifamily sector.”

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