New Hilton suites coming to Frederick County -- Gazette.Net


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A new 117-room Homewood Suites by Hilton will be coming to the Md. 85 corridor, an area that has become a mecca for hotels and extended-stay suites in southern Frederick County.

The seven-member Frederick County Planning Commission on Wednesday approved a site plan from Matan Companies, a Germantown and Frederick County-based development company, for a 117-room hotel on 3.50 acres on the southwest corner of Md. 85 and Executive Way. The site plan includes hotel signage, landscaping, outdoor lighting, water and sewer, building design and parking.

The extended-stay hotel will bring the total number of hotels in the county to 22, a majority in the Md. 85 corridor, also known as Buckeystown Pike.

“The area south of Frederick along the Md. 85 corridor near Interstate 270 has the greatest concentration of hotels in the county,” John Fieseler, executive director of the Tourism Council of Frederick County, said in an email this week. “The proximity to the interstate as well as to many corporate offices there has supported strong hotel growth in that area.”

Tourism officials said many travelers to Frederick County come for business and later return with their families for leisure trips.

The proximity to Baltimore, Virginia and Washington, D.C., historic Civil War battlefield and museums; Harry Grove Stadium; Fort Detrick; and a vibrant arts and downtown community has made the county an attractive place for visitors.

The concentration of hotels on Md. 85 is near the Interstate 270 interchange, the Bechtel Corporation campus, the Westridge Shopping Center, and several office buildings.

Karl Morris, director of development for Matan, said in an interview Monday that the proposed Homewood Suites is part of the company’s proposed Westview South development.

Morris said the entire Westview South development, including Homewood Suites, will be a place where people can live and work. There will be homes in walking distance to jobs, which the company hopes will be a draw for residents tired of commuting on I-270 to work in Montgomery County, Washington, D.C., and Virginia every day.

“It will be a live and work community,” Morris said. “This [hotel] is a part of that piece.”

The planning commission voted April 24 to recommend to the Frederick Board of County Commissioners the portion of Westview South that includes 615 homes and 122,480 square feet of office and commercial space. It did not include the proposed hotel’s site plan.

The favorable recommendation was clinched when developer Mark Matan said he would pay an additional $800,000 to help pay for a new school, in addition to the $6.6 million impact and school construction fees.

In exchange, the planning commission is recommending Matan be allowed to build the 615 homes on 210 acres of his Westview South property between New Design Road and Md. 85, south of Corporate Drive in Frederick.

Homewood Suites would bring the number of hotel rooms in Frederick County to 2,316, with a revenue stream that could be good for the county.

A report generated by Smith Travel Research, a national lodging firm, showed revenue generated from all of the hotels in Frederick County has rebounded since the recession hit in 2008.

In fiscal 2007, revenue was at $40 million, increasing slightly to $40.7 million in fiscal 2009 when the effect of the national recession took hold, according to the firm.

Revenue from hotels dropped to $38.4 million in both fiscal 2010 and 2011. But in fiscal 2012, room revenue increased to $44.2 million.

Fieseler said his most recent report shows that hotel room revenue for 12 straight months through March of this year increased by 4.6 percent.

“Demand has softened a bit in the last couple of months due to the federal budget sequestration, which led to the cancellation of federal room nights in local hotels for conferences, training, et cetera,” he said.

The most recent hotel to open in Frederick County was in November. The TownePlace Suites by Marriott on Westview Drive off Buckeystown Pike opened at a cost of $14 million. It is owned by Westview Hospitality Associates LLC and managed by Plamondon Hospitality Partners.

sgreenfield@gazette.net