VOL. 111 | NO. 39 | Wednesday, February 26, 1997
lj 10/5 cates
Land purchased for hotel in Lenox Park
By LAURIE JOHNSON
The Daily News
A local hotel developer has purchased land in Lenox Park and plans to build a hotel that will cater to corporate travelers visiting businesses along the Nonconnah Parkway corridor.
Tom Ricketts, president of Master Hospitality Services Inc., has purchased 2.5 acres of land from Lenox Park developer Ben Clark, partner of Clark & Clark, for development of a Courtyard by Marriott hotel.
The land for the 96-room hotel, which will be built on an outparcel of the speculative office park at Kirby Road and Nonconnah, was purchased for $783,644, according to a warranty deed filed recently in the Shelby County Registers Office.
Brokerage services were provided by Trammell Crow, which represented the seller, and Hospitality Investor Services, which represented the buyer.
The Courtyard brand is Marriotts full-service, corporate travel product, and the hotel at Lenox Park is expected to cost $5.8 million to build, Ricketts said.
"Our main focus will be to attract corporate travelers visiting businesses located in Lenox Park," Ricketts said. "That was our prime consideration in selecting this site."
"The advantage of having the hotel here is that it will be of service to our tenants who have out-of-town clients coming in," said Clark, whose Lenox Park development is considered to be the first purely speculative office park to be built in Memphis in some time.
"The completion of Nonconnah Parkway will open up a whole new market," Ricketts said. "It is going to spur a lot of corporate development as it is completed, and we think there are quite a few businesses already in the area that have not been served by hotels in the past."
The new Courtyard hotel also will serve the businesses located in the Southwind area, as well as those in the distribution area south of Winchester.
"We will also attract some business from companies who cant find rooms for their people in the Poplar corridor," Ricketts said.
The Nonconnah corridor, which begins at I-240 and will tie into U.S. Highway 72 in Collierville, has started to receive attention from hotel developers for a number of reasons, said David Twiford, president of Hospitality Investor Services, a hotel brokerage and development firm based in Memphis.
"There are no hotels in that area," he said. "Winchester is commercially developed, and it continues to develop. Nonconnah offers easy access to Collierville, which is another plus.
"There are a number of hotels going up on Germantown & I-40, near the new mall, but I think hotels tend to do better in business locations, particularly full-service hotels, than they do in retail shopping areas."
Amenities at the three-story hotel will include an exercise facility, spa and outdoor pool. It also will have a meeting room that will seat 45 and a limited service restaurant, serving breakfast only.
The exterior of the hotel will be precast concrete and will be similar in style to Lenox Parks office buildings, which were designed by the Memphis architecture firm Looney Ricks Kiss.
Site work for the hotel is expected to begin within 30 to 45 days. Construction of the hotel is expected to be complete in spring 1998.
Negotiations currently are underway for selection of a general contractor, Ricketts said.
Development of Lenox Park office complex is proceeding according to plan, Clark said.
"We feel that we are making good progress on Lenox Park," he said. "Building A is virtually leased out, with only two small spaces still available. Building B is under construction, and is expected to be ready for tenants in June."
Although no leases have been signed for Building B, negotiations are underway for the lease of a significant portion of it, he said.
Tenants of the 96,000-square-foot first building include Arcadian Corp., Commercial Tennessee, Chrysler Financial and Right Associates.
Eventually, Lenox Park will contain seven 96,000-square-foot office buildings, Clark said. There also is space designated for a bank and a restaurant.
"The Nonconnah corridor is developing rapidly, just as we anticipated," Clark said. "Other users are becoming attracted to the corridor, and we believe it will continue to evolve as the primary speculative office corridor in Memphis for the next 15 to 20 years."