The City of Westerville today announced an agreement with Concord Hospitality to build a full-service Marriott Renaissance hotel and conference center at Westar Place, the site formerly known as ALTAIR Business Park. Continental Realty/Continental Real Estate was also announced as the City’s development consultant and brokerage team for the site, a tract of 62 acres of land acquired by the City for commercial development in Westar, the growing regional epicenter of commerce located east of Interstate 71 along Polaris Parkway in Westerville.
Since its purchase in May, the City has been working closely with planners, developers and economic advisors to plan for office and retail development, as well as hotel and conference space along underdeveloped portions of the Westar area. The land is situated between Cleveland Avenue and Africa Road south of Polaris Parkway, a desirable location for commercial and office development, and is already home to corporate headquarters and businesses in the health care, technology and financial services sectors.
Expected to attract more than 3,000 jobs to the Westerville community, these announcements formalize plans for this premier commercial space to add up to one million square feet of additional Class A office space in Westerville, meeting space demands for business attraction and retention efforts.
Centerpiece to the City’s strategic vision for this site is the proposed Renaissance hotel and conference center. Concord Hospitality, the company selected to develop and operate the hotel, expects to begin construction in 2015.
"The Westar Place project is a great example of the kind of strategically planned, well-balanced mixed-use urban development that considers the current needs of the community and the projected demands of future generations," said Mark Laport, president and CEO of Concord Hospitality. "We started our company here in Ohio nearly 30 years ago, making us particularly pleased to be working with Marriott International toward the goal of bringing their terrific, upscale Renaissance hotel brand to Westerville. Renaissance is the right combination of a familiar brand with best-in-class traveler amenities and distinctive design that I believe will resonate well with the community and help attract businesses to this visionary town center."
According to Laport, the eight-story, 224 room and suite hotel will feature nearly 20,000 square feet of meeting and convention space to meet the needs of the business community that is envisioned as part of the development. The full-service hotel also will offer the latest in in-room dining options, as well as a three-meal restaurant. Like all Concord hotels, it will be designed to meet LEED standards.
Continental Realty/Continental Real Estate will coordinate development for Westar Place, leading the site’s marketing and sales efforts for mixed-use development.
“We are very excited to have been selected by the City of Westerville to coordinate the development of Westar Place. Continental’s entire team of real estate professionals will be engaged in the process of delivering an upscale mixed use development to this wonderful, strategically located site. I will be personally committed to the project and look forward to beginning the process immediately,” said Frank Kass, Chairman of Continental Real Estate Companies.
Westar Place is among the most significant projects planned in the district that involved the annexation of 941 acres of land for expansion along the City’s northern commercial corridor. Development of the Westar area was funded by an approximately $30 million public infrastructure investment in the late 1990s, extending Cleveland Avenue, Polaris Parkway and County Line Road, along with the associated utilities. Since then, the area has steadily grown, generating more than 7,000 jobs and returns exceeding that initial investment.
"This is all part of the tradition in Westerville of establishing our vision, finding the right partners and marshalling the needed resources to undertake bold economic development initiatives," said Westerville City Manager David Collinsworth. "Westar Place is going to be the ideal complement to the Medical Mile and we are very excited about the opportunities presented to the community with Concord’s Renaissance project."
*Westerville City Council approved the $6.7 million land purchase, along with $9.5 million in tax increment financing (TIF) in infrastructure reimbursements in June 2013.
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