|By Brooke Crum, The Port Arthur News,
TexasMcClatchy-Tribune Regional News
Dec. 04, 2012--PORT ARTHUR -- Port Arthur will see a TownePlace Suites by Marriott pop up on the west side of Memorial Boulevard behind Cheddar's Casual Cafe in early 2014.
Mike Daugherty, one of the partners in DPG Partners, said the hotel developer and operator would begin construction on the new facility in April 2013. DPG Partners, a family business, also owns the Holiday Express Inn & Suites on Central Mall Drive.
The company had such success with the Holiday Express Inn & Suites over the past three years that it decided to expand its horizons in Port Arthur, Daugherty said.
"We look forward to being there for many years to come," he said.
With the expansion of several industrial projects throughout Port Arthur, Daugherty said he expected business to be steady at the new hotel. He said the architect was about 40 percent finished with the hotel plans and expected to have approximately 98 guest rooms in all.
Most of the rooms in the TownePlace Suites would have full kitchens, so they would be well-suited for visiting corporate employees and the visiting traffic that flows in and out of The Medical Center of Southeast Texas, Daugherty said.
The hotel would offer three different styles of living quarters, he said. There would be two-bedroom and one-bedroom suites and studio suites, which provide an open floor plan as opposed to separate rooms.
While the hotel would not have a restaurant or bar of its own, Daugherty said he believed the development of the hotel would spur further development in the area, and that location would be a prime spot for other restaurants.
But the development of this new hotel would come with the help of the Port Arthur Economic Development Corporation. The EDC has entered into an agreement with LSI General Contractors to provide funding to build a road and the required infrastructure from Memorial Boulevard to the area behind Cheddar's Casual Cafe where the hotel would sit, said Floyd Batiste, CEO of the EDC.
"We are very limited in what we can do in the retail and service industries," Batiste said.
The EDC would contribute about $400,000 to the infrastructure construction, he said, but it must be able to show that the money it pours into the infrastructure will produce or expand business enterprise in the area.
Kerry LaGrone, managing general partner at LSI General Contractors, approached the EDC about the agreement to build the access road from Memorial Boulevard to the new hotel site. LaGrone was the developer who sold the tract of land to DPG Partners to build the TownePlace Suites by Marriott.
LaGrone, who has worked with the EDC before to develop similar deals, said he was working with other retailers and restaurateurs to further develop the land surrounding Cheddar's and The Medical Center of Southeast Texas.
The TownePlace by Marriott was expected to be completed in April 2014.
(c)2012 The Port Arthur News (Port Arthur, Texas)
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