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VOL. 111 | NO. 18 | Tuesday, January 28, 1997

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By CAMILLE H Area hotel development remains steady from í95 By CAMILLE H. GAMBLE The Daily News The total value of hotel projects started in 1996 was almost double that of 1995 although the number of new hotels remained steady from the previous year, according to building permits filed in the Shelby County Construction Code Enforcement Office. There were five major hotel construction projects started in both 1996 and 1995. The total value of the permits were $14.9 million in 1996 and $8 million in 1995, showing the trend for larger, more expensive hotel chains in the area. Hotel developments built in the Mid-South in 1996 were concentrated in the Wolf River Parkway and Germantown Parkway areas. ìI suspect that, in addition to the two hotels that are opening on Wolf River Road and Germantown Parkway, there will be one or two other properties open by the end of í97,î said David Levine, president and chief operating officer of Equity Inns Inc. Levine said in the Germantown Parkway area there remains available land for hotel development. ìThere are a couple of good sites left. Thereís a lot of land, but only a couple of good sites,î he said. A 93-suite Homewood Suites hotel in Germantown opened in the spring. The $2.8 million hotel project was constructed by Patton and Taylor Construction. The owner is Wolf River Hotel Limited Partnership, which consists of Phillip McNeill Sr., Clyde Patton Jr., Bruce Taylor and PWH Realty Corp. The hotel is operated by McNeill Hotel Corp., the lessee of Equity Inns hotel properties. Other Equity Inns projects in the works include a 92-room Hampton Inn in Collierville, which is scheduled to open Feb. 15. This hotel will be operated by McNeill Hotel Corp. Equity Inns will start construction soon on a Hampton Inn and Suites in Bartlett. The hotel will be built on the northwest corner of U.S. Highway 64 and Germantown Parkway. Equity Inns will develop and own the property, which will be leased to McNeill Hotel Corp. and operated by Promus Hotel Corp. The project is scheduled to be completed by the summer. Two AmeriSuites extended-stay hotels opened in 1996, one on Giacosa near the new Wolfchase Galleria mall and one on Primacy Parkway. Studio Plus, another extended-stay chain, built a hotel at 8110 Cordova Road in 1996, and Extended Stay America opened a hotel in 1996 in the Memphis area. The new properties are evidence of the trend for more extended-stay hotels in the Mid-South. Several extended-stay chains are growing at a rapid pace, opening hotels all over the country. Extended Stay America Inc. and Lexington, Ky.-based Studio Plus Hotels Inc. announced last week they have signed a definitive agreement for a merger of the two companies. Under the agreement, Extended Stay America will issue 1.23 shares of its common stock for each of the approximately 12.5 million issued and outstanding shares of Studio Plus in a transaction valued at approximately $290 million. The transaction will be accounted for as a pooling of interests. Studio Plus currently has 35 operating hotels, 11 under construction and options to purchase 28 sites. Extended Stay America had 40 operating hotels, 50 properties under construction and options to purchase 106 sites in 30 states as of December. Norwood Cowgill Jr., president of Studio Plus, said, ìI canít think of a better way to maximize the continuing growth of Studio Plus than by joining Extended Stay America. In just two short years, they have accomplished what many said couldnít be done. Their capabilities to expand nationally are truly impressive and will have an immediate impact on the growth of Studio Plus.î Levine said the extended-stay development in Memphis should taper off in 1997. ìI think it has pretty much reached its equilibrium,î Levine said. ìAnd in 1997 a normal mix of different types of rooms will come in.î In Downtown Memphis, a hotel planned for Beale Street and Hernando is still in the early planning stages. The hotel on Beale Street should have at least 100 rooms. No construction date has been set. Also in 1996, there were renovations to many hotels including the Adamís Mark Hotel and the Radisson in Downtown. The Holiday Inn at I-40 and Sycamore View was sold in January to the Atlanta-based Impac Hotel Group. Impac will make exterior and interior renovations to the 175-room hotel beginning in February. Tax revenue was up from hotel/motel receipts in the first half of fiscal year 1996-97, according to Shelby County Clerk records. As of December, for the first six months of fiscal year ending June 30, 1996, hotel/motel tax receipts in Shelby County totaled approximately $5 million, compared to $4.7 million in the same period of 1995.
PROPERTY SALES 91 293 13,051
MORTGAGES 58 168 8,171
BUILDING PERMITS 99 744 30,678
BANKRUPTCIES 34 156 6,220