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2 Starwood Brands Raise the Roof

27 Aug 2015, 10:18 pm

By Anca Gagiuc, Associate Editor

Aloft Element Austin Downtown

Aloft Element Austin Downtown

Work is under way on a new hotel in Downtown Austin. White Lodging Services Corp. in partnership with Starwood Hotels & Resorts announced the groundbreaking of the dual-branded Aloft and Element hotel complex at the intersection of 7th and Congress.

“We are excited to be bringing another cool lodging option along with a hip restaurant & bar to the heart of downtown Austin,” said Deno Yiankes, White Lodging’s president & CEO for investments and development. “Starwood’s Aloft and Element brands are fresh and unique and we expect this project to continue the activation of North Congress Avenue.”

The 32-story LEED-certified property will combine the 278-key Aloft Austin Downtown and the 144-key Element Austin Downtown. An affiliate of White Lodging, REI Real Estate and Poe Cos. will own both properties, which will be managed by White Lodging. HKS Inc. is the architect of project, which is scheduled for completion during the early summer of 2017.

The Aloft hotel will feature high ceilings, large windows, platform beds, and walk-in showers. The second floor will feature an open-air terrace. Re:fuel by Aloft and W XYZ bar are planned.

Element Austin Downtown will offer studios and one-bedroom suites with modular furniture, open shelving, spa-inspired bathrooms, and fully equipped kitchens. Moreover, guests will have access to rental bikes. The hotels’ shared amenities will include a fitness center and more than 1,380 square feet of meeting and event space.

Image courtesy of White Lodging

Renovation Turns the Hilton Austin Green

27 Aug 2015, 10:06 pm

By Anca Gagiuc, Associate Editor

Hilton Austin

Hilton Austin

Because Austin’s climate is a perpetual challenge to energy efficiency, the city requires commercial buildings larger than 10,000 square feet to conduct an annual conservation audit and report their energy rating to the city. Following the mandate, Hilton Austin conducted a $22 million renovation.

Hilton looked for a way to upgrade its 801 guest rooms by combining energy efficiency with guest comfort. The revamp included new guest room furniture, lighting fixtures, and a wireless monitoring system.

The network monitors guest room energy systems while linking in-room lighting, thermostats, energy systems, and the property’s guest door locks. Sensors monitor when a guest enters or leaves the room and sends an alert if the room is vacant and the door is ajar.

“Maintenance is simplified when there is only a single network to manage,” said John Culp, Hilton Austin’s director of engineering, in a statement.

HMC Takes Charge in Austin

26 Aug 2015, 7:45 pm

By Adriana Pop, Associate Editor

The recently rebranded Country Inn & Suites in Austin is now among the growing portfolio of hotels that Hospitality Management Corp. (HMC) is managing in Texas.

Country Inn and Suites in Austin, TX.

Country Inn and Suites in Austin, TX.

Located off IH-35 near Pflugerville, the 84-key property is about a 25-minute drive from Austin Bergstrom International Airport and 15 miles from downtown Austin. Local attractions include the University of Texas, Hawaiian Falls Water Park, Austin Zoo, Austin Children’s Museum, The Wells Branch Walking Trail and Disc Golf Course. The hotel is a short commute from Round Rock, home to the Round Rock Express minor league baseball team and Palm House Museum. Pearson, Dell, Samsung, Sears and IBM are nearby.

Country Inn & Suites Austin offers complimentary “Be Our Guest Breakfast” buffet, an outdoor swimming pool, fitness center, free Wi-Fi Internet, flat screen television, ample work space, refrigerator and microwave, as well as non-smoking and handicapped-accessible rooms and free parking.

Founded in 1971, Dallas-based HMC is one of the oldest independent hotel management firms in the lodging industry as well as one of the largest third-party hotel management companies.

According to the company’s website, HMC’s Texas portfolio also includes hotels located in Big Spring, Fredericksburg, El Paso, Stephenville, Round Rock, Frisco, Midland, Gonzales, Cotulla, Kenedy, Pleasanton, Odessa, Addison, Dilley, Stanton and Karnes City.


KFG Bets on Round Rock

20 Aug 2015, 4:01 pm

By Ioana Neamt, Associate Editor

Corridor Park Pointe - Building E

Corridor Park Pointe – Building E

KFG Investment Co. is betting big on Austin’s industrial market.

The California-based private company recently enlisted HFF to obtain $10 million in financing for a three-building industrial portfolio in Round Rock, about 19 miles north of Austin.

An HFF debt placement team led by senior managing director Mona Carlton and associate director Chad Russell worked on behalf of KFG to secure a 12-year, fixed-rate loan through Tennessee-based Unum Life Insurance Co. The portfolio totals 171,058 square feet of industrial/flex space and includes the following properties:

  • AmoRon 6,  located at 800 Paloma Drive. The 30-year-old asset totals 51,928 square feet.
  • Oakmont, a 61,542-square-foot building located at 2711 Oakmont. It was completed in 2002.
  • Corridor Park Pointe, Building E. Located at 100 Michael Angelo Way, the 61,766-square-foot facility was built in 1999.

According to the broker, loan proceeds will be used to secure the purchase of AmoRon 6 and to refinance Oakmont and Corridor Park.

Image courtesy of CBRE

Civitas Launches Senior Living Project

12 Aug 2015, 10:41 pm

By Anca Gagiuc, Associate Editor

Civitas Senior LivingFollowing its statement about expanding its portfolio to seven properties, Fort Worth-based Civitas Senior Living has started construction of Ledgestone Senior Living in Southwest Austin.

The senior lifestyle apartment community offers independent and assisted living apartments along with a memory-care cottage. The facility will include 120 independent senior lifestyle apartments, approximately 60 assisted-living studio suites and one-bedroom units, and 10 private and semi-private memory-care units.

Amenities will include a pool, gym, spa and wellness center, walking trails, clubhouse and landscaped grounds. The independent senior apartments will have balconies, island kitchens, and floorplans of one-, two-, and three-bedroom units with walk-in closets. Residents will have social clubs and activities designed to match their interests.

Brent Hammond, founder of Trepex Construction Inc. will lead the construction team. Wayne and Misti Powell of Civitas, owners of the community, will also handle management duties.

“Our small company platform allows us to provide large company services with the attention to detail of a local owner,” said Wayne Powell, president of Civitas Senior Living, in a statement.

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