|By Aldo Svaldi, The Denver Post|
Knight Ridder/Tribune Business News
May 28, 2004 - Construction started Thursday on a high-rise Residence Inn by Marriott designed to serve business travelers planning stays of longer than a week.
Backers of the 14-story property at 1725 Champa St. include Sage Hospitality Resources and Shames-Makovsky Realty Co.
The extended-stay hotel will have 228 rooms, said Brad Robinette, a senior vice president with Sage.
The hotel got its start when Denver real estate broker Evan Makovsky purchased a parking lot early in 2003. Private backers are financing the project, estimated to be worth $44 million. Included in the structure will be more than 440 parking spaces.
"The truly remarkable thing about this new hotel is that there is no public money in it. They didn't even ask," said John Huggins, Denver's economic development director.
Residence Inns cater primarily to business people staying a week or longer on a trip.
Suites include kitchens. Hot breakfasts, a grocery restocking service and evening social hours are included in the room price.
The general manager of the nearby Hotel Monaco, Gavin Pepper, said he isn't concerned about competition from the future neighbor.
"We serve two different markets," he said.
Pepper said he expects the new hotel will lack such services as a restaurant and concierge, which are available at the Monaco.
The Residence Inn won't threaten the 1,100-room convention center hotel that the city is financing either, Huggins said.
The Marriott property, however, will face competition from a 200-room extended-stay hotel planned on a parking lot next door to the Denver Athletic Club at 13th and Welton streets.
That property, however, may not break ground until later this year. The Residence Inn is targeted to open its doors early in 2006.
Marriott has seven Residence Inns in the Denver area and another three in the Boulder-Longmont area. The closest location to the one under construction is at 2777 Zuni St.
Sage has a long track record of establishing and operating successful lodging properties in urban areas, including the Oxford Hotel and the Courtyard by Marriott in downtown Denver.
A formal groundbreaking ceremony is scheduled at the construction site of the Residence Inn at 11 a.m. today. Denver Mayor John Hickenlooper is expected to attend, Robinette said.
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