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Rosewood Hotels & Resorts and Partner Maritz, Wolff & Co. Quietly
Showing the Posh Mansion on Turtle Creek to Prospective Buyers

Five-star hotel may get update to fend off rivals 

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

April 26, 2006 - Rosewood Hotels & Resorts has quietly been showing the Mansion to prospective buyers with the idea that Rosewood would maintain operations. 

It's where Mick Jagger and the Stones crash after their concerts. And even the Queen of Swaziland and her court checked in for the night, taking up most of a floor.

The landmark Mansion on Turtle Creek has an international following. Now its owners hope to attract a buyer for the 143-room hotel and restaurant.

The Mansion, which opened in 1981, is Texas' only five-star hotel.

Rosewood Hotels & Resorts with its partner Maritz, Wolff & Co. of St. Louis have quietly been showing the posh property to prospective buyers.

"We decided to talk to a few people about selling the Mansion with the stipulation that Rosewood Hotels & Resorts would continue to operate it," Rosewood Hotels chairman Stephen Sands said Tuesday. "I don't know what the chances of that happening are."

Real estate brokers say that the opportunity to buy one of Dallas' iconic properties will attract a rush of moneyed buyers.

"It will prove appealing to very high net-worth players as well as the typical investment community," said Mark Gibson with Dallas investment sales firm Holliday Fenoglio Fowler L.P. 

"The reception in the investment market for this property will be very high."

The Mansion known for its signature Southwest cuisine and stellar service is facing some big changes.

Just last month its star chef, Dean Fearing, announced that he would be leaving after 21 years. Mr. Fearing will open his own restaurant next summer in the new Ritz-Carlton.

And with the boom in luxury hotel building under way in Dallas, Rosewood officials may also have decided it was a good time to consider selling.

"We are at the point we are looking at a lot of changes," Mr. Sands said. "Before we did that we wanted to look at this option."

The W Hotel opens this summer near downtown. And Ritz-Carlton will enter the market with its Uptown hotel next year. Several luxury boutique hotels are also in the works for central Dallas.

To keep attracting deluxe guests, the Mansion on Turtle Creek is due for a makeover.

"It needs it because of the new competition," said former Rosewood Hotels chairman Atef Mankarios. "But it's a one-of-a-kind, unique asset.

"For those who understand the Mansion and its stature in Dallas, it would be a great investment," he said.

Since 1997 the Mansion on Turtle Creek has been jointly owned by the Caroline Rose Hunt family and Maritz, Wolff & Co.
The hotel has been continuously operated by Rosewood.

In 1993 Rosewood built the adjoining 13-story condominium tower, which is served by the hotel.


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Copyright (c) 2006, The Dallas Morning News

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