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(Carl Cronan is editor of Real EstateFlorida.)

ATLANTA-Interstate Hotels & Resorts has signed on to manage a new 143-room Cambria Suites hotel near Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport for Charania Hospitality Group. The Arlington, VA-based hotel investor and operator indicated it would be the first of several projects with the owner.

“We are exploring other projects with the Charania Group of Companies, primarily in the Southeastern region of the US,” says Thomas F. Hewitt, CEO of Interstate Hotels. He notes that the company has plans to build additional Cambria Suites, a brand of Choice Hotels International Inc.The Cambria Suites Atlanta Airport will be the second to open in Georgia, with the first opening earlier this month in Savannah. Its developer, CQ Capital Partners, says it will seek LEED certification, continuing a growing trend among newly built upscale hotels.

Cambria Suites plans to develop a dozen hotels throughout the Southeast over the next few years, with a second Savannah location in the city’s historic district and Florida sites in Orlando, Jacksonville and Fort Myers. Others include Baton Rouge and Shreveport, LA; and Tuscaloosa, Birmingham and Mobile, AL.

“The Southeast is ripe for a lifestyle hotel like Cambria,” Brad LeBlanc, the company’s vice president of development, tells GlobeSt.com. “We think the all-suite platform is a perfect combination for developers, especially at today’s land prices.”

Barkat Charania, CEO of Clarkston, GA-based Charania Group, said in a news release that the Cambria Suites brand plays to Interstate Hotels’ expertise in the select-service segment. “With their operating and marketing strengths and size advantages, we feel Interstate is the best qualified to help us optimize the returns of this new hotel brand,” he says.

Interstate Hotels has ownership interests in 54 hotels and resorts, including seven that are wholly owned. The company and its affiliates manage a total of 217 hospitality properties with more than 45,000 rooms in 36 states and several foreign countries, and also has contracts to manage 16 to-be-built hospitality properties with 3,800 rooms.

The Cambria Suites Savannah Airport, which has 97 rooms, is owned by Airport Hospitality LLC and is only the sixth in the hotel chain thus far. The typical Cambria hotel has 130 rooms in four stories on just over two acres, LeBlanc says.

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