|By Sandra Baker, Fort Worth
Star-Telegram, TexasMcClatchy-Tribune Regional News
June 03, 2011--The former United Way building near the Fort Worth Convention Center may be torn down and a 200-room Hampton Inn & Suites built in its place, the hotel's developer said Thursday.
Raymond Management Co., a Wisconsin hotel company, is under contract to buy the property at 210 E. Ninth St., with plans to possibly start building the hotel a year from now, said Barry Perkel, Raymond's director of real estate.
Pearl Real Estate, which developed the Embassy Suites on Commerce Street downtown and the Holiday Inn Express on Lancaster Avenue, bought the property in mid-2008. It has been vacant since January 2008, when the United Way moved to the Mercado Building at 1500 N. Main St.
Planned is an eight-story Hampton Inn & Suites, which is a limited-service hotel, according to preliminary plans presented Thursday to the Downtown Design Review Board.
The hotel's guest entrance will be on Commerce Street, facing the convention center. Plans show that the first three floors would have a parking garage and amenities, with guest rooms on floors four through eight. The building would also have an indoor pool.
Perkel said the company is considering a mid- to late 2012 construction start.
This would be Raymond Management's second Fort Worth project.
It is developing Midtown, a hotel, office and retail project at the northeast corner of Forest Park Boulevard and Rosedale Street near the city's medical district. Construction on Midtown began this year after years of planning.
That project includes a four-story, 158-room Hilton Garden Inn and a four-story, 135-room Homewood Suites.
The newest downtown hotel is the 614-room Omni Hotel across Houston Street from the convention center, which opened in January 2009.
Sandra Baker, 817-390-7727
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