|By Bill Freehling, The Free Lance-Star,
Fredericksburg, Va.McClatchy-Tribune Regional News
Oct. 05, 2011--The hotel at Fredericksburg's Eagle Village appears likely to be a Hyatt Place.
The University of Mary Washington Foundation, which is developing the 95-room hotel at its mixed-use development across U.S. 1 from UMW's Fredericksburg campus, has declined comment on the brand. CEO Jeff Rountree has said only that the foundation has targeted a brand for the $14 million project but is not ready to announce the name because discussions are ongoing.
The retail space between (but not including) the Giant grocery store over to the road cutting through Eagle Village from College Avenue will be demolished next month for the select-service hotel, which will be financed by Cardinal Bank. Construction on the hotel is likely to start in March or April and be done by July 2013.
The Silver Cos. originally had the local franchise for Hyatt Place, which has Virginia locations in the Roanoke, Richmond, Hampton Roads and Northern Virginia areas.
Silver announced plans in 2006 for a Hyatt Place at Celebrate Virginia South near the other three hotels the company has now developed there (a Homewood Suites, Hampton Inn & Suites and Hilton Garden Inn). It was planned for the parcel behind Wegmans and across Fall Hill Avenue from the Mercedes-Benz and Volvo dealerships' entrance.
The Silver Cos. plans to develop additional hotels in Celebrate Virginia South at some point, said Jud Honaker, the firm's president of commercial development, but not until the economy gets better.
Honaker said Hyatt Place officials contacted the company about the UMW Foundation's interest in the brand, and Silver officials decided not to stand in the way. He said Silver will give up the Hyatt Place franchise and won't charge the UMW Foundation for it.
Rountree said he could neither confirm nor deny that the foundation has chosen Hyatt Place for its new hotel. He said the foundation has looked hard for "an international iconic brand" for Eagle Village. He hopes to name the brand publicly in the next several weeks. The foundation will hire a management company to run the day-to-day operations but has not finalized the deal.
Bill Freehling: 540/374-5405 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
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