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SAN ANTONIO, TX-Concord Hospitality Enterprises Co. is preparing for its first area project with the imminent groundbreaking of two hotels. The Raleigh, NC developer will begin construction immediately on a 120-room Courtyard by Marriott and its neighbor, a 140-key Residence Inn by Marriott.

Both hotels at Interstate 10 and Loop 1604 will be completed within the next 12 to 15 months. Concord Hospitality will operate both hotels, which will be situated on five acres.

“They liked the neighborhood. USAA is right across the street, it’s adjacent to the RIM and the Shops at La Cantera,” comments Jason Shapiro, managing director with Aztec Group Inc., the Miami, FL company that arranged for $28 million in construction financing to get the project moving. The Shops at La Cantera is a 1.3-million-sf regional mall, and the RIM is an 800-acre, mixed-use development.

Shapiro says that Concord Hospitality has a first-rate reputation when it comes to developing and managing select-service hotels. He adds that the company is one of Aztec’s regular clients.

Despite that, he acknowledges that the loan was difficult to place because of capital market conditions. “We put the deal into the capital markets during Q4 2007, but the markets continued to fluctuate,” he tells GlobeSt.com. “It took us awhile to settle on a lender, and to negotiate with that lender.” The lender in provided a LIBOR-based, floating-rate loan that allows for a two-year construction period, followed by three years for stabilization.

“We don’t know yet whether this will be rolled into permanent fixed-rate debt or sold,” Shapiro comments. “Concord tends to keep its options open until management sees the numbers.”

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