|By Sandra Baker, Fort Worth
Star-Telegram, TexasMcClatchy-Tribune Regional News
Aug. 07, 2012--FORT WORTH -- A special taxing district approved a $3.5 million reimbursement Monday for a Wisconsin developer that plans to build to a $44 million hotel at the site of the former United Way building near the Fort Worth Convention Center.
The money, approved by the board of the city's Lancaster Tax Increment Financing District, can be used to pay for utility relocations, asbestos abatement, streetscape improvements and permit costs associated with construction of a 210-room Hampton Inn & Suites at 210 E. Ninth St.
Raymond Management Co. has been under contract for more than a year to buy the property, which has been vacant since 2008, when United Way moved to the Mercado Building at 1500 N. Main St.
Barry Perkel, Raymond's real estate director, said construction on the four-story hotel will likely begin in about a year, with completion expected in the fall of 2014. The limited-service hotel will include 1,000 square feet of conference space, a pool, outdoor dining, free Wi-Fi and covered parking.
In May, Raymond Management completed a four-story, 157-room Hilton Garden Inn in the Midtown development at Forest Park Boulevard and Rosedale Street. By month's end, the company will begin construction on a 110-room Homewood Suites in the same development, he said.
Raymond has also completed Hampton Inn projects in Boise, Idaho; Skokie, Ill., and Oklahoma City.
Pearl Real Estate, which developed the Embassy Suites on Commerce Street downtown, is selling the United Way property. Pearl recently sold its other Fort Worth project, the Holiday Inn Express on Lancaster Avenue.
The Omni Hotel, across Houston Street from the convention center, was the last hotel built in downtown Fort Worth. It opened in 2009.
Sandra Baker, 817-390-7727
(c)2012 the Fort Worth Star-Telegram
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