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McKinney, Texas Lands Developer to Build a 210-room
 Westin Hotel with 35,000 sq ft Convention Center
By Mike Jackson, The Dallas Morning NewsMcClatchy-Tribune Business News

Dec. 1, 2006 - MCKINNEY -- The city has finally landed a hotel that would be the centerpiece of an entertainment and educational complex on Central Expressway.

City officials and California-based O&S Holdings announced a deal Thursday for a Westin hotel, a convention center, a movie theater and upscale restaurants and shops at Central and State Highway 121.

The 91-acre complex would also include a new headquarters and classroom space for the Collin County Community College District.

"This has been a long time in coming," City Council member Thad Helsley said. "A lot of people have spent a lot of time on this project."

O&S executives and city officials have been scrambling since summer when a different hotel developer broke his promise to build a Marriott hotel on the property. But in spite of the broken deal, leaders with the city and its two tax-supported development corporations vowed to find another hotelier for the proposed Bridge Street Town Centre complex.

"We're thrilled to bring the Westin brand to McKinney," said Gary Safady, managing partner of O&S Holdings.

College officials, who agreed last year to build a headquarters on the site, liked the idea of placing the main offices within walking distance of a hotel and convention center. They also said they wanted the headquarters to be centrally located in the county.

"We desperately need conference facilities," the college's president, Cary Israel, said Thursday. "We're real excited about the theater, too. There's a lot of synergy and collaboration within this site."

Dr. Israel said the planned building could be as large as 150,000 square feet. About 60,000 square feet would be devoted to offices. The rest would be classrooms.

"We're very lucky, not only in McKinney but in Collin County, because this college is second to none in their industry," Mr. Helsley said.

The developers said they expect to break ground on the $250 million project in early 2007.

It will include the 210-room hotel, 450,000 square feet of upscale stores and restaurants, a 14-screen movie theater and a 35,000-square-foot convention center. The complex will also feature a lake.

Mr. Safady said he has gotten commitments from several high-end retailers and restaurants, including Coldwater Creek, Gordon Biersch and Cantina Laredo. The company is negotiating with Victoria's Secret, Bath and Body Works and Silver Fox Steakhouse, among others.

"Retailers have recognized that we have a superior location," Mr. Safady said. "That, combined with a Westin hotel and the college facility, makes our development one that they want to be part of."

E-mail mjackson@dallasnews.com

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Copyright (c) 2006, The Dallas Morning News

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