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Two new hotels to add 1,000 rooms to Austin market

White Lodging Services Corp. plans to add almost 1,000 hotel rooms in two planned projects, one in downtown Austin and the other near the University of Texas, the company told the Austin American-Statesman.

Near the UT campus, White Lodging said it will build an 11-story, 347-room hotel that will be the first dual-branded hotel in Austin to feature the Autograph Collection and AC by Marriott brands. Construction is to start next summer on the project at 1901 San Antonio St., with an opening date in early 2019. Each hotel brand in the project will have its own lobby and entrance, but will share some services, such as housekeeping.

White Lodging, a hotel investment, development and management company based in Merrillville, Ind., also released new details on a previously announced hotel project planned near the Austin Convention Center downtown.

That hotel will be a full-service Marriott with 615 rooms and will rise 30 stories at Cesar Chavez and Trinity Streets, White Lodging said. It is due to break ground in May 2017, with a targeted summer 2019 opening.

The hotel will have 65,000 square feet of meeting, exhibit and entertainment space, three bars and a street-level restaurant, White Lodging said.

“These projects demonstrate our continued belief in Austin’s near and long term future,” said Deno Yiankes, president and CEO of investments and development at White Lodging. “We are thrilled in that these two projects will create thousands of construction jobs and more than 500 full time jobs upon opening.”

White Lodging did not release a cost estimate for the two projects.

White Lodging is the dominant hotel owner in downtown Austin, and one of several companies bringing new rooms to market amid downtown’s ongoing hotel-building boom.

White Lodging developed the 1,012-room JW Marriott convention center hotel downtown and a new 366-room Westin downtown, and is building a dual-branded aloft and Element hotel project at Congress Avenue and East Seventh Street.

A hotel industry analyst said the downtown hotel market is healthy, even with all the new rooms coming online.

“Despite adding almost 1,500 rooms since the beginning of 2015, the downtown Austin hotel market has only lost two to four points in occupancy and rates continue to remain strong,” said Randy McCaslin, managing director of CBRE Hotels (formerly PKF Consulting USA).

Adjacent to UT, the Autograph Collection hotel White Lodging plans to build will have 191 rooms and more than 6,000 square feet of event and entertainment space. It also will have a street-level restaurant and bar, a walk-up burger bar and a rooftop bar and pool deck with views of UT, the Texas Capitol and the downtown skyline.

Recently introduced to the U.S., the 156-room Austin AC Hotels by Marriott property will be the lifestyle brand’s first to open in Austin. The brand originated in Europe in 2011 as a joint venture with Spanish hotelier Antonio Catalan and currently includes hotels in Spain, Italy, Portugal and France.

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