|By Harry Minium, The Virginian-Pilot,
Norfolk, Va.McClatchy-Tribune Regional News
Jun. 27, 2007 -- NORFOLK
Downtown is getting yet another hotel, and this one won't require a city subsidy.
LTD Management Co. of Chesapeake announced Wednesday it will build a 9-story Residence Inn by Marriott extended-stay hotel on Brambleton Avenue between Duke and Boush streets.
The 160-unit, all-suites project will cost at least $27 million. Unlike two other hotel projects finalized earlier this year, this one will have no city subsidy.
Councilman W. Randy Wright said LTD is paying $400,000 to buy the site, a grassy parcel in front of the York Street Garage, from the city.
"It's a good deal for the city and a good deal for them," he said. "That's the way it's supposed to work."
The city is giving a $7.5 million performance grant to the developer of a $47 million, 250-room Hilton Hotel, to be built adjacent to a $49 million city convention center. The hotel will receive the grant from tax revenues it generates.
Fort Norfolk Plaza, a combination medical office tower and Summerfield Suites extended-stay hotel, could receive up to a $13 million subsidy. It will have 125 rooms.
In all, the three projects will add 535 rooms downtown.
"We need all of them and more," Wright said. "It's difficult to get a room downtown."
This will be the fifth hotel LTD has built in Norfolk.
It began with a Holiday Inn Select on Military Highway near Norfolk International Airport. It has since added a Residence Inn by Marriott on Military Highway, a SpringHill Suites by Marriott on Newtown Road and the downtown Courtyard by Marriott.
Residence Inn hotels generally have fully equipped kitchens in each suite and amenities such as fireplaces.
The downtown Residence Inn will be between the city's central business district and the medical complex, which includes two hospitals and Eastern Virginia Medical School. It also will be adjacent to the planned light-rail route, which would run from the Virginia Beach border through downtown to the medical complex.
The hotel will be geared toward relatives of patients at the hospital as well as people coming downtown for long-term stays.
It will be next to a proposed $40 million apartment complex, the Belmont at Freemason, that was approved by the City Council on Tuesday.
Both projects are near the historic Freemason neighborhood.
"The architecture of this hotel project is first class," Vice Mayor Anthony L. Burfoot said. "It will fit the character of that area very well."
The hotel is projected to produce nearly $10 million of direct tax revenue to the city in its first decade and will employ 45 people.
Patrons there will park at the York Street Garage, where the city has agreed to lease 80 of its 593 spaces to LTD.
LTD officials plan to break ground on the hotel this fall and have it open by late 2008, well before either of the other projects.
Harry Minium, (757) 446-2371, email@example.com
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