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[IMGCAP(1)]DALLAS-After weeding the playing field, Jackson-Shaw Co. has signed Concord Hospitality Enterprises to manage two under-construction hotels in North Texas, with rights to more as it rolls out a five-year plan to build at least 12 hotels in select US markets. Concord initially went up against a half dozen operators jockeying to become Jackson-Shaw’s primary management company.

The Raleigh-Durham, NC-based Concord will manage the 102-room Marriott Residence Inn at 6900 Cascade Court and 104-key Marriott Fairfield Inn & Suites at 5909 Stone Creek Dr., side-by-side projects in the 100-acre Cascades at the Colony. The hotels will open in spring 2009 on a shared 5.75-acre tract.

“One of my first jobs was to find the right partner so we could move down the road on a management pact,” says Christopher Sheldon, Jackson-Shaw’s vice president of hotel operations. He tells GlobeSt.com that Concord’s relationship with Bethesda, MD-based Marriott International Inc. was the chief dealmaker because that’s the branding iron that the developer plans to use for part of its development push. Meanwhile, Concord, with 50 hotels in 11 states and two Canadian provinces, is looking to double its size by 2010.

[IMGCAP(2)]With the ink barely dry for the Texas hotels, Jackson-Shaw and Concord have jump-started talks for an upcoming project, a 175-key Embassy Suites for a five-acre tract at the corner of Airport Road and International Airport Boulevard in Jacksonville International Tradeport in North Florida. Sheldon says the eight-story hotel’s financing should be in place in a couple months, allowing construction to start in late fall or early winter.

The developer also is planning to put a Renaissance Hotel at the Shops at Legacy in Plano. Sheldon says construction financing should be in hand by year’s end, allowing ground to break in early 2009 on a 276-room hotel, give or take, on a 2.6-acre tract.

Sheldon says Jackson-Shaw wants to build a portfolio with a handful of Marriott-branded Renaissance hotels and 12 Embassy Suites, a flag of Beverly Hills, CA-based Hilton Hotels Corp. The development cost for a Renaissance hotel can run $60 million to $90 million while an Embassy Suites project ranges from $30 million to $50 million, the hotel exec says. In comparison, he says the Cascades’ hotels are $12-million to $14-million projects.

Both brands were selected because the upper-end markets aren’t saturated by either flag, Sheldon explains, adding he foresees a “big market” in the next five to 10 years for branded-boutique hotels akin to the Renaissance. The focus logically is Jackson-Shaw’s four core markets: Dallas, Jacksonville, Las Vegas and the Greater Baltimore area. “But, we’re not ruling anything out,” Sheldon says.

Jackson-Shaw’s portfolio includes two hotels in Las Vegas, one of which is a 550-room Renaissance Hotel at 3400 Paradise Rd. beside the convention center. The Vegas properties are managed by Interstate Hotels & Resorts of Arlington, VA.

“We’re building relationships to make smart partnership decisions,” Sheldon says, “and doing what it takes to get these properties built and operating well.”

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