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Homewood Suites by Hilton will join Council Courts downtown project


City of Huntsville FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
July 24, 2012

(Huntsville, AL) - The City of Huntsville announced today that a new Homewood Suites by Hilton hotel will be built in the Councill Courts redevelopment near the intersection of Gallatin Street and Lowe Avenue in downtown Huntsville. The $11.5 million hotel is being made possible through a joint agreement between Triad Properties of Huntsville and PHD Hotels of Auburn.

The City has worked with a number of partners in the private sector to develop new residential, retail, and tourist opportunities at Councill Courts. For its part, the City has agreed to pay $7.6 million toward construction of a $10 million parking garage to anchor the complex. The Councill Courts garage will help serve the hotel, offices, shops, restaurants, grocery store and more than 230 apartments to be constructed in the area. The project is the latest step in the City's efforts to revitalize downtown and create new economic opportunities with environments where residents can live, work and play.

"Thanks to the commitment of our private-sector partners and our hardworking staff, we have been able to make this ambitious project a reality," said Mayor Tommy Battle. "It is a great time to live in Huntsville as we watch our city grow and flourish. I am eager to see Councill Courts become a star attraction in our city."

Mayor Battle noted that the hotel will help provide more rooms for the City's regional hospitals, and it will help Huntsville move toward the 1,000 room "sweet spot," the benchmark number of hotel rooms the Von Braun Center needs to attract bigger conventions.

The new Homewood Suites by Hilton will occupy a four story building consisting of 101 suites. According to the company, the international brand of upscale, all suite residential-style hotels are meant to be a home away from home and feature complimentary Internet, daily full hot breakfast, separate sleeping and living spaces, as well as evening dinner and drinks Monday-Thursday. Construction on the project is expected to begin this fall.

"We find nothing more exciting than the opportunity to participate in the transition of Mayor Battle's downtown vision into a reality," said Triad principal Gerry Shannon. "With a construction start around the corner, the new Twickenham Square is an exceptionally designed, carefully planned project that will become the gateway to our rapidly improving downtown."

This is PHD Hotels' third hotel development in Huntsville, including the Homewood Suites at the Village of Providence. "We are very pleased to be a part of such an exciting mixed-use development in downtown Huntsville," said Tom Hunt, PHD Hotels owner and president. "We believe the Homewood Suites brand, an upscale extended stay hotel, will be the perfect fit for this project."

PHD Hotels, along with the support of Triad Properties, will develop the project. PHD Hotels has developed and operated 13 hotels in Alabama, Mississippi and Georgia since its founding in 1998. The company has won numerous awards from Hilton Hotels Corporation and will manage the new hotel when it opens in the fall of 2013.

"From its inception, we were convinced that downtown, the civic center, the hospital and the City would benefit with a new downtown hotel. Homewood Suites will be an integral component and a key ingredient to the success of the Twickenham mixed-use development," said Shannon.

Huntsville based Triad Properties has developed and acquired more than eight million square feet of properties throughout the Southeast and Southwest in the past 19 years.

"From a legal, planning, engineering, and parking perspective, this has been an extraordinarily complex transaction," said Triad principal William Stroud. "Because of Mayor Battle's leadership and his professional team of talented and creative individuals, we are able to be here today to celebrate this hotel, which will be a key component to the Mayor's plan for Class A, mixed-use development."

For more information, contact:

Kelly Cooper Schrimsher, Director of Communications, Office of the Mayor, City of Huntsville, 256-427-5006 (w), kelly.schrimsher@huntsvilleal.gov



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