Hotel development in Detroit shows signs of life

<![CDATA[According to Crain's Detroit Business, a number of new hotel projects in the region have obtained financing and are moving ahead, while a number of hotels have begun construction and look to open before year's end. These include the Hyatt Place Detroit Novi at the Suburban Collection Showplace and the Aloft Detroit, planned for the historic David Whitney Building. Hyatt Place is expected to open late this spring; Aloft is scheduled to open during the second quarter of 2014.

Upon completion, the 126-room Hyatt Place will have cost between $10 million and $12 million. The new construction also will add 25,000 square feet of meeting space, bringing that total to 80,000 square feet.

Developers of Aloft Detroit hotel are wrapping up financing, said Mike Damitio, SVP of acquisitions for Farmington Hills-based hotel investment firm Trans Inns Management Inc. They expect to begin the $82-million restoration during the first quarter.

Trans Inns is developing the Detroit building in a joint venture—Whitney Partners LLC—with The Roxbury Group, a Detroit-based development firm.

The Aloft will have 136 rooms on the lower floors of the 19-story building, while the upper floors will house 108 apartments. The Roxbury Group will oversee development of a 108-unit residential component as well as retail development on the ground floor. Trans Inns will operate the hotel and serve as property manager.

"Development is tough in any market today, but we do feel like we're satisfying a niche for downtown," Damitio said.

In addition to the Hyatt Place and Aloft, a $7-million, 100-room Hampton Inn & Suites that was tabled when the economy crashed is back on track in Ann Arbor and poised to capitalize on rising demand in Washtenaw County. Construction on the hotel, which will be on Jackson Road near the Clarion Hotel and Conference Center, is expected to resume this spring.

The new hotel will follow the opening late last year of the TownePlace Suites by Marriott and the Hilton Garden Inn three miles south of downtown Ann Arbor. The two hotels added 227 rooms to the market, which already offered 3,484 rooms across 30 properties.

Meanwhile, Rochester Hills-based Amerilodge Group LLC has plans to open three hotels in metro Detroit between 2013 and 2014.

In October, Amerilodge launched construction of a $9-million Holiday Inn Express Hotel & Suites in Troy on Stephenson Highway. The 117-room hotel should open the second week of April, said Amerilodge president and CEO Asad Malik.

This month, Amerilodge plans to break ground on another Holiday Inn Express in Rochester Hills. The $6.4-million hotel will have 83 rooms and should open in November.

Also on tap this year: Construction of the $7-million Chesterfield Fairfield Inn & Suites. The 80-room hotel in Chesterfield Township is set to open in May 2014.

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