Angelos says other hotel plans don't affect his Proposed Grand Hyatt near convention center still on, despite Wyndham

Development

December 08, 1998|By Kevin L. McQuaid | Kevin L. McQuaid,SUN STAFF

Peter G. Angelos, who is working to develop a hotel across from the Baltimore Convention Center, said yesterday that the start of construction of another major hotel downtown will have no effect on his $150 million project.

"They are two totally different hotel projects," Angelos said of his Grand Hyatt and the Wyndham Inner Harbor East Hotel. "What we're pursuing is a convention center headquarters project. It's not an impediment to our going forward, nor is it competition."

Workers began digging holes for the foundation of the 31-story Wyndham east of the Inner Harbor in earnest last week.

Lodging industry analysts -- including a city-commissioned study room demand in Baltimore -- have concluded that the downtown requires roughly 1,000 new hotel rooms to meet the increased needs generated by the $151 million expansion of the convention center.

Combined, the Grand Hyatt and the $134 million Wyndham would add 1,600 rooms.

As a result, analysts have predicted that only one of the three major hotels proposed -- including a 600-room Westin Hotel at 300 E. Pratt St. -- will ultimately be built, and that the first to begin work would cause the others to dismantle their plans.

But Angelos contends that the Wyndham's start will have little effect on the Grand Hyatt's progress.

"If our project is implemented, it will benefit all of the hotel projects that are proposed downtown, because it will create a better economic environment that will generate activity for everyone," Angelos said.

Late last month, Angelos' development team received a 90-day extension from the city to wrap up financing and other loose ends surrounding the 850-room project, which would be built on a city-owned parking lot across from the convention center.

Angelos expects to reveal details soon of a roughly $100 million financing package, which would eliminate the final substantial obstacle to the hotel's development.

Angelos intends to market the Grand Hyatt and the Hyatt Regency as a package.

Marketing the hotels in tandem is expected to help attract larger conventions to the city, because they can book more rooms and have access to more meeting space.

Hyatt officials declined to comment on the Wyndham's construction start.

Harvey Schulweis, the New York-based developer of the proposed Westin, declined to comment on the effect of the Wyndham on his project.

Pub Date: 12/08/98

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