Cordish buys and re­brands ho­tel

For­mer Hil­ton prop­erty will be firm’s sec­ond near casino

Baltimore Sun - - BUSINESS MARYLAND - By Jeff Barker je­barker@balt­sun.com twit­ter.com/sun­j­eff­barker

The Cordish Cos. said Wed­nes­day it has pur­chased a ho­tel in Hanover near its Mary­land Live casino and re­branded it with the Bal­ti­more-based de­vel­oper’s new “Live!” ho­tel mar­que.

Cordish is spend­ing $3 mil­lion to ren­o­vate the for­mer Hil­ton Gar­den Inn and Home­wood Suites at 7491 New Ridge Road, across Route 100 from Arun­del Mills mall, where the casino is lo­cated. The ho­tel, re­named Live! Lofts, is re­main­ing open dur­ing the work.

“The cus­tomers went to bed un­der one brand and woke up un­der an­other,” said Rob Nor­ton, pres­i­dent of Mary­land Live. “All the signs were re­placed on the first day. They are all over.”

The de­vel­oper’s an­nounce­ment comes the week af­ter it broke ground on the first Live-branded ho­tel. That 17-story, $200 mil­lion tower is to be lo­cated at the casino and is aimed largely as a perk for the casino’s more than 1 mil­lion “re­wards” mem­bers. Sched­uled to open in late 2017 or early 2018, it will be the tallest build­ing in Anne Arun­del County.

The for­mer Hil­ton prop­erty is an 11-story ho­tel com­plex with 250 rooms, in­clud­ing more than 100 suites, and an in­door pool.

Terms of the ac­qui­si­tion from the Buc­cini/Pollin Group of Wash­ing­ton, D.C., were not dis­closed. The prop­erty is val­ued at $27.1 mil­lion by the state for tax pur­poses.

Nor­ton said Live! Lofts, too, will cater to fre­quent casino cus­tomers.

“We’ve got a lit­tle over a year be­fore our ho­tel is ready. This will al­low us to start serv­ing our casino guests yes­ter­day,” he said. “We are plan­ning to ren­o­vate the whole thing and turn it into a place with an eclec­tic el­e­gance.”

The ho­tel is in the Bal­ti­more-Wash­ing­ton In­ter­na­tional Thur­good Mar­shall Air­port cor­ri­dor. Cordish said in a re­lease that it will of­fer free shut­tle trans­porta­tion to the air­port, area train sta­tions and the casino.

While the ho­tel is aimed pri­mar­ily at casino cus­tomers, Nor­ton said it also could An artist’s ren­der­ing of the Live! Loft ho­tel’s ap­pear­ance af­ter its $3 mil­lion ren­o­va­tion. The Cordish Cos. an­nounced the pur­chase of the for­mer Hil­ton prop­erty Wed­nes­day. cater to air­port trav­el­ers and non-casino cus­tomers, in­tro­duc­ing them to the brand.

“It’s not part of our core busi­ness plan, but it’s an ex­cit­ing op­por­tu­nity,” he said.

The ho­tel will be the first of many fea­tur­ing the “Live!” brand with an ex­cla­ma­tion point. Oth­ers are slated for Phila- del­phia, in the sta­dium district, and Arlington, Texas.

The brand blends ameni­ties with “a very live en­ter­tain­ment at­mos­phere,” said David Cordish, the com­pany’s chair­man.

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