Development agreement approved for Allen’s $85 million Watters Creek Hotel, Convention Center

The Allen City Council has approved a development agreement with TCH Altera, LLC, for the construction of The Convention Center at Watters Creek, an $85 million, full-service four-star facility. The convention hotel will contain 290 guest rooms, a 64,500 SF convention center and a 1,000-car parking garage on seven acres at Bethany Drive and North Central Expressway, adjacent to Allen’s premier Watters Creek mixed-use center.

Projected to open in January 2017, the center will offer the largest convention and exhibition space among the north Dallas suburbs and compares to DFW’s most significant centers, including the Gaylord, Hilton Anatole and the Sheraton Dallas Hotel, according to a study by HVS.

“This convention center is truly a unique asset for north Texas,” said Allen Mayor Stephen Terrell. “The sheer size of the convention space opens the door for significant conferences and propels Allen to a whole new level as a destination city for business and tourism.”

Terrell said the HVS study estimates venue revenue from the convention center will reach $3.6 million annually by its fourth full year of operation.

The multi-entity agreement provides for the City, Allen Economic Development Corporation (AEDC) and Allen Community Development Corporation (ACDC) to jointly contribute $12.3 million toward the capital investment in the project and to provide additional operational support over time. The AEDC also will contribute the land, which it has owned since the 1990s. TCH Altera has arranged construction financing and anticipates breaking ground by the end of this summer.

According to Allen officials, the convention center is being developed largely in response to Allen’s explosive corporate office and retail growth that continues to drive demand for larger business and recreational events. This strong interest from corporate relocations also drove the recent announcement of Peloton Commercial Real Estate’s Watters Creek Office Park, which will be built adjacent to the convention center with up to 860,000 SF of new office space.

“With the relocation of corporate tenants like KONE Elevators, Allen is quickly becoming a Class-A office market,” said AEDC Executive Director Dan Bowman. “This convention center and the adjacent Watters Creek mixed-use destination provide amenities that are critical for these corporate tenants.”

According to Bowman, developer TCH Altera brings extensive experience with a wide range of notable hotels, including the Mandarin Oriental in Las Vegas, Nev., The Knickerbocker in Manhattan’s Time Square, and the recent redevelopment of The Fairmont Acapulco Princess, Acapulco, Mexico.

“We couldn’t be more pleased with the commitment to this project by Allen officials,” said TCH Altera Principal Tom Hendrick. “We view this as a long-term partnership with the city that will build on the area’s momentum for attracting visitors and tourism.”

“This is a real game-changer,” said Karen Cromwell, Director of the Allen Convention & Visitors Bureau. “The new convention hotel will compete on a regional level with major venues such as the Frisco Embassy Suites that offer large combined meeting and exhibit space.”

5G Studio Collaborative has been selected for architectural design. Plano-based Aimbridge Hospitality has been chosen to manage the hotel and has a wealth of experience working with cities for management of convention center properties. Aimbridge currently manages over 270 hotels in 38 states and the Caribbean and is the second largest independent hotel management firm in the country with an impressive team of veteran hoteliers.


ABOUT TCH ALTERA LLC

TCH Altera, LLC, is a privately held development joint venture consortium specializing in luxury hospitality projects. The team has developed more than 100 projects valued at more than $3 billion over the past 30 years. The principals bring extensive experience in hotel feasibility analysis, financing and development, as well as Public Private Partnerships with municipalities. http://tchaltera.com

ABOUT AIMBRIDGE HOSPITALITY

Aimbridge Hospitality is the nation’s second largest independent hotel investment and management firm with a proven track record for delivering superior returns for its strategic partners in a variety of markets and economic cycles. Aimbridge provides management, asset management, development, renovation and consulting services. Based in Dallas, Texas and with development offices in Chicago, Dallas and Puerto Rico, Aimbridge currently owns and/or manages over 270 upscale, independent and branded hotels with over 36,000 rooms across the United States and the Caribbean, including such affiliations as Marriott, Hilton, Embassy Suites, Doubletree, Hilton Garden Inn, Hampton Inn & Suites, Aloft, Hyatt, Wyndham, Choice Hotels and the Phoenix Inn Suites chain of hotels.www.aimbridgehospitality.com

ABOUT ALLEN ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT CORPORATION

The Allen Economic Development Corporation (AEDC) is funded through a citywide half-cent sales tax and charged with facilitating company relocations and assisting the expansion of existing businesses, which creates jobs and generates additional tax revenue to the community. Today, Allen’s total ad valorem tax base exceeds $8.5 billion. Recently, the AEDC was instrumental in recruiting KONE Elevators, MonkeySports and CVE Technology to locate offices in Allen.

ABOUT ALLEN CONVENTION & VISITORS BUREAU

The Allen Convention & Visitors Bureau (ACVB) is tasked with marketing Allen as a destination for conventions, events and tourism. ACVB has been instrumental in bringing meetings and events to Allen. Due in part to their efforts, spending on travel in Allen has increased from $40 million in 2002 to $151 million in 2013. The ACVB is funded through Hotel Occupancy Tax revenue, from which the City has pledged $10 million over a 12-year period toward the management operations of The Convention Center at Watters Creek. http://www.visitAllenTexas.com

ABOUT ALLEN COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT CORPORATION

The Allen Community Development Corporation (ACDC) is funded through a citywide half-cent sales tax and is charged with overseeing the funding for land, buildings, equipment and improvements which are suitable for professional and amateur athletics, entertainment and tourism, parks and public spaces, transportation and other projects which promote new or expanded business enterprises.