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Texas Rangers Owner Tom Hicks and Gatehouse Capital Planning to Build
 a 300-room Westin Hotel and a 140-room Aloft hotel in Arlington, Texas

By Steve Brown, The Dallas Morning NewsMcClatchy-Tribune Regional News

Oct. 23, 2007 --ARLINGTON -- The team that built the upscale W Hotel next to the American Airlines Center is cozying up to two other local sports franchises.

Texas Rangers owner Tom Hicks and Dallas-based developer Gatehouse Capital revealed Monday that they plan to build a 300-room Westin Hotel and a 140-room Aloft hotel in Arlington. The $232 million project, adjacent to the Rangers Ballpark and a few blocks from the new $1 billion Dallas Cowboys stadium, will also include a combined 155 condominiums for purchase on the upper floors.

These hotels are the first brand names publicly announced for the Glorypark development, which is expected to include 1.2 million square feet of residential, retail and office space. Mr. Hicks is developing Glorypark, which is scheduled to open in fall 2009, with Ohio-based Steiner + Associates.

Mr. Hicks said these hotels will have even more to offer business travelers than just the four-star brand and proximity to Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport.

"They can come to have their business meetings and then go walk to a baseball game after work or go to a Monday night football game at the Cowboys stadium," Mr. Hicks said.

The hotels are expected to open in late 2010, about three to five months before the 2011 Super Bowl is held at the new Cowboys stadium. That stadium is scheduled to open for the 2009 NFL season.

Westin Hotel is also expected to have a 13,000-square-foot ballroom and other meeting space. Marty Collins, president and CEO of Gatehouse Capital, said he expects this to be a conference center-type hotel.

Mr. Hicks said the prices of the condos -- which will be called the Westin Residences and Residences at the Aloft -- have not been set. He said they would not cost as much as the ones around downtown Dallas, where they often start about $300,000 and surpass $1 million.

This is the type of development that the Arlington City Council has hoped would accompany Glorypark. Special districts created by the city will contribute more than $100 million worth of property and sales tax money to pay for improved streets, water and sewer and other infrastructure. Council members have discussed implementing a moratorium on the construction of new limited-service hotels, which they said Arlington already has in abundance.

The council also authorized a study to look at the possible development of a full-service convention center hotel.

Mr. Collins said he likes being one of the early developers because it gives him a chance to set the tone of the area.

"We like creating new neighborhoods," he said. "We think this market has something extraordinary to offer."


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