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[IMGCAP(1)]LONG BEACH, CA-In two new hotel projects budgeted at $30 million each, a new 178-room Residence Inn is under way here and a renovation is expected to be completed this summer at the 451-room Sheraton Universal Hotel in Universal City, CA. The Long Beach Residence Inn is owned by Ensemble Real Estate LLC of Long Beach, while the Sheraton Universal is owned by Englewood, CO-based Destination Hotels & Resorts and is managed by Starwood Hotels & Resorts of White Plains, NY.

Irvine, CA-based R.D. Olson Construction, a specialist in hotel construction, is building the Residence Inn, which is expected to be completed in the summer of 2009. The 11-story hotel’s 178 rooms will include 139 studio-size rooms, 29 one-bedroom suites and 10 two-bedroom suites.

The new hotel site is at 600 Queensway Dr., overlooking the Long Beach Harbor and close to the Queen Mary ocean liner. It is being designed by the Cuningham Group architects of Marina del Rey, CA, with Seattle-based Johnson Braund Design Group Inc. as the interior designer.

[IMGCAP(2)]The Sheraton Universal Hotel, at 333 Universal Hollywood Dr., is a central location for guests in the entertainment business and visitors to Universal Studios, the CityWalk retail and entertainment area and other attractions. The makeover, timed for the property’s 40th anniversary, will include upgrades to all guest rooms and certain public spaces, says Hoyt Harper, senior vice president of Sheraton Hotels & Resorts.

Once the renovations are completed, the hotel will feature 451 guest rooms, several specialty suites, poolside Lanai rooms, restaurants, private dining rooms and two bars, semi-private cabanas in the lobby bar and remodeled pool area. Additional upgrades, including more than 30,000 sf of indoor and outdoor meeting space and a more extensive pool renovation, are slated for 2009.

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