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Mansur Real Estate Services Wins Preliminary Approval to Build a $50 million to $60 million
 250 room Westin at Indianapolis International Airport
By Jeff Swiatek, The Indianapolis StarMcClatchy-Tribune Business News

Mar. 13, 2007 - A hotel that will be hitched to Indianapolis International Airport's new midfield terminal will be well-insulated, height-restricted and built by a local developer.

A team headed by Mansur Real Estate Services of Indianapolis is in line to build the hotel with at least 250 rooms, John J. Kish, midfield terminal project director, said Monday.

The airport authority picked the Skyward proposal, as the Mansur team calls itself, over one led by Kite Realty Group, another Indianapolis developer.

The Mansur team, which proposes to build a 120,000-square-foot Westin hotel costing $50 million to $60 million, was chosen in large part because it "had a financial plan that looked most likely to be feasible," Kish said.

A third team also had submitted a bid to build the hotel. It was headed by Northern Indiana-based White Lodging, which proposed a Marriott-brand hotel. That group dropped out of the bidding, Kish said.

"We're real excited. It's a really high-visibility project," Mansur President Charles Cagann said.

It may be too late, however, to open the hotel by the time the midfield terminal opens in late 2008.

"It'd be awfully difficult" to get the hotel built by then, Cagann said. "I think it would be better if it (the opening) was delayed slightly" to the spring of 2009, he said.

Mansur's team includes hotel operator Concord Hospitality Enterprises, of Raleigh, N.C., and equity partner Samuel L. Odle, an executive of Indianapolis-based hospital group Clarian Health Partners.

The current airport terminal has no connected hotels, although a Radisson hotel is on airport property in front of the existing garage.

Special restrictions apply to building the new hotel. It can't be more than five stories high, can't contain a cooling tower and will require special soundproofing to muffle jet noise.

Mansur's proposal calls for installing airline arrival and departure video monitors in the hotel lobby to let hotel guests and visitors check flight times. The in-lobby monitors would be a first for an Indianapolis hotel.

Kish wouldn't say whether the authority would subsidize the project.

The authority will move ahead to work out a project agreement with the Mansur-led team, a process that might take 30 days, Kish said. The airport authority board would give final approval.

Negotiations will include asking Mansur to change the design of its multistory hotel to be more compatible with the midfield terminal design, Kish said.

Cagann said the authority wants the Mansur-led team to use elements of the design submitted by the White Lodging-led team. That design is by the same architects who designed the midfield terminal, HOK of St. Louis and CSO Architects of Indianapolis, Cagann said.

Cagann said Mansur's team has no objections to using the competing design. "We want everybody to feel comfortable with the end product," he said.

To reach the hotel from the terminal, people would take a moving walkway that will extend well into the 7,000-space parking garage, then walk from there to a third-floor connector, where escalators will extend into the hotel lobby, Cagann said.

The full-service hotel would contain meeting rooms, an indoor pool, a fitness center and a restaurant.


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