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Memphis Based Crescent Development Group Planning a $100 million
Golden Tulip Hotel at Craig Ranch, in McKinney, Texas


By Steve Brown, The Dallas Morning News
Knight Ridder/Tribune Business News 

Developers say area will be to McKinney 'what Las Colinas is to Irving'

April 19, 2006 - Looking south from McKinney's Craig Ranch, most of the countryside still appears to be farmland. The trucks rolling down State Highway 121 are barely visible from the front door of the new country club. Come back in two years, and you'll be standing in the middle of a European-style town center, with a resort hotel, condominiums, apartments and retail space.

"Very quickly we are going to become an infill location and urban," said developer David Craig. "Fully developed, Craig Ranch will have 40,000 people who live here and 30,000 employed.

"What Las Colinas is to Irving, Craig Ranch will be to McKinney."

On Tuesday, developers detailed plans for a $100 million resort and residential project that will be a centerpiece for the mixed-use development.

Golden Tulip Hospitality Group, which is based in Amsterdam, will operate the 280-room hotel that will be built next to the Tournament Players Club at Craig Ranch golf course and Cooper Aerobics Center. The top three floors of the eight-story hotel complex will be luxury condominiums.

The McKinney hotel is being touted as the U.S. flagship for the European company.

"We want in 10 years to be a very recognizable hotel chain with excellent distribution across the country," Golden Tulip president and chief executive Hans W.R. Kennedie said. "We want to play a role in this country that Golden Tulip becomes a household brand."

Mr. Kennedie said the company chose the McKinney project because of the quality of Craig Ranch and potential growth in the area. Collin County will eventually have a million people, he said. "Amsterdam only has about 700,000 people," he said.

Golden Tulip's Craig Ranch project will have almost 40,000 square feet of conference space, 31,000 square feet of retail and 147,000 square feet of condominium residences.

Across the street, signs are up for a separate four-story, 365,000-square-foot residential and retail building. And next door to that site, more condos are in the works.

The Craig Ranch Golden Tulip hotel is on a fast track to open in late 2008.

"We only started work on this in February," said Mark Skoda, president of Memphis-based Crescent Development Group, which is building the hotel. "We've moved quickly with contracts, to get the land and get a commitment from Golden Tulip."

Founded in 1962, Golden Tulip Hospitality has about 500 hotels worldwide. The company is aggressively expanding in Asia and the U.S.
The land for Craig Ranch was assembled starting in 2000. More than 4,000 residents now call the project home.

E-mail stevebrown@dallasnews.com
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To see more of The Dallas Morning News, or to subscribe to the newspaper, go to http://www.dallasnews.com.

Copyright (c) 2006, The Dallas Morning News

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