|By Shonda Novak, Austin
American-StatesmanMcClatchy-Tribune Regional News
May 17, 2013--Sonesta, a Boston-based hotel company, will operate a 200-room hotel planned for the Hill Country Galleria in Bee Cave, the developer said Thursday.
The five-story hotel -- the first major one for Bee Cave -- is expected to break ground late this year at the northeast corner of the mall, said Adrian Overstreet, managing member of Hill Country Texas Galleria, the partnership that owns the Galleria and will develop the hotel. The hotel will include 8,000 square feet of meeting space and a rooftop bar with views of Lake Austin when it opens in early 2015, Overstreet said.
Gensler Inc. is the architect and interior designer for the hotel, which will be built at a cost of $25 million to $30 million.
Todd Runkle, principal and managing director of Gensler, said the hotel will be a new upscale concept currently being developed by Sonesta. He said Sonesta owns and operates more than 50 hotels worldwide.
Runkle said the Bee Cave hotel will have furnishings by local artisans, and local art work including screen printed "poster art" depicting live entertainment venues in Bee Cave and the Austin area.
Other hotels in the area include a new Holiday Inn Express Hotel & Suites in Lakeway, with another hotel planned near the Lakeway Regional Medical Center off RM 620.
Sonesta's hotel will add to the momentum at the 1.3-million square foot open-air Galleria, where other development is taking shape, Overstreet said.
Already the headquarters for two public companies, American Campus Communities and Summit Hotel Properties, Overstreet said he expects to announce next week that a major international company will move itsheadquarters to the Galleria. He declined to give additional details.
Currently, the existing office space is fully occupied, and a new 70,000-square-foot office building opens this month, he said. Another office building, planned for about 40,000 square feet, is expected to start construction before year-end.
The mall's retail space is 96 percent leased, and Schmidt Family Barbecue out of Lockhart has broken ground on a restaurant that is due to open in October, Overstreet said. In addition, Whole Foods Market will mark the first anniversary of its 35,000 square foot store next week.
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