New developments, especially those of the large-scale variety, are hard to come by these days. But in Chicopee, Mass., near Springfield, BK Investments and Waterford Hotel Group are teaming up to build a new Residence Inn by Marriott to be part of an 11-acre mixed-use development. According to Hershal Patel, president of BK Investments, the hotel, which recently broke ground, will sit in the back three acres of the development. Waterford Hotel Group will serve as the management company behind the hotel opening.
The development, called Chicopee Crossing, will also house retail stores, restaurants, and a bank. The rest of the project is being developed by The Colvest Group, which acquired the remaining eight acres from BK Investments.
Patel says the hotel has been in the pipeline for three to four years. PeoplesBank is serving as the lead lender and the project has Small Business Administration financing.
“The site is perfect for a hotel, but it’s such a large site we needed to find a partner to make the development a reality,” Patel says. “Our expertise is hotel development.
“Obviously financing is another big challenge, but PeoplesBank was able to step forward,” he continues. “I think what made it attractive for lending is that it’s a great flag, there’s a great track record.”
Patel also credits the involvement of Waterford Hotel Group as a manger to making the development of the hotel possible. “They have a great reputation and a number of Residence Inns in their portfolio already,” Patel says.
Rob Winchester, president and CEO of Waterford, adds that having six Residence Inns already is an advantage to opening the hotel. “Our team is working with Hershal and his team through the whole pre-opening phase. We’re handling all of the pre-opening budget as far as staffing and training,” he says. “As we step closer to the opening we’ll start ramping up the staffing, but we’re early yet.”
It is expected that the hotel will employ approximately 45 full- and part-time associates. It is slated for a summer/early fall 2013 opening.
The extended-stay Residence Inn brand is a good fit for the area, according to both men. The development is close to Westover Air Reserve Base and Baystate Medical Center, and the area has the second largest concentration of colleges in New England. “The demand generators are pretty consistent,” Patel says.