|By Brittany Levine, The Orange County
Register, Santa Ana, Calif.McClatchy-Tribune Regional News
June 22, 2011--The Robert Green Co. of Encinitas will be in charge of building a new San Juan Capistrano hotel that city leaders have described as a possible economic engine for the city's downtown.
The Plaza Banderas project, which includes a 124-room hotel, a restaurant and a retail complex, was approved by the City Council last year at Ortega Highway and El Camino Real near Mission San Juan Capistrano.
"We're bringing this very complex project to one of its last steps," said Gretchen Stroscher Thomson, owner of Stroscher G3 LLC, which owns the property and has been working with the city for years to get Plaza Banderas developed.
Stroscher Thomson told the City Council on Tuesday night that after several interviews, G3 had settled on The Robert Green Co. as the developer.
The privately owned company has developed hotels such as the Four Seasons Jackson Hole in Wyoming and the Park Hyatt Aviara Resort in Carlsbad. Company President Robert Green said he has yet to choose an operator for the Plaza Banderas hotel.
"We believe in the future of this project," Green said. He added that with the hospitality industry showing recovery from the economic slowdown, he sees a way to get financing for the project.
Mark Bodenhamer, chief executive of the San Juan Capistrano Chamber of Commerce, urged the council and the developer to move quickly to get the project completed, as the local business community could use the extra clientele that would come when the hotel opens.
"Our downtown businesses need this and they need this soon," Bodenhamer said. "This project really is the light at the end of the tunnel for some of those businesses."
The council is to meet for a budget workshop at 6 p.m. Thursday at City Hall, 32400 Paseo Adelanto, during which it will review a Plaza Banderas development agreement to try to work out final kinks before construction can begin, Assistant City Manager Cindy Russell said.
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