Embassy Suites is Among First in Country Built with Energy-Saving Design

04/13/2009 |

Knight Ridder/Tribune Business News

Susan Feyder, Star Tribune, Minneapolis
April 13, 2009

Apr. 13—A 175-room Embassy Suites Hotel is set to open later this month in Brooklyn Center — the first hotel in about 10 years for the city, and one of the first in the country in a new design for the hotel chain.

The hotel, which is connected to the Earle Brown Conference Center, is owned by Brooklyn Hotel Partners LLC and managed by the Oliver Cos. It brings the number of hotel rooms in Brooklyn Center to almost 1,000, according to Gary Eitel, community development director.

The new prototype was designed to be cheaper and more environmentally friendly than traditional Embassy Suites, says Jim Holthauser, who heads full-service brand operations for parent company Hilton Hotels. It can be built on 2.8 acres instead of the 4.1 acres required by the traditional model.

The more compact design has fewer suites that are slightly smaller and laid out side by side instead of front to back along corridors. The ground-floor atrium is at the front of the building instead of the center, and is lower to reduce energy costs and use space more efficiently, Holthauser says.

The design saves about 14 percent on construction costs. “One of the reasons [for the new design] is to attract developers interested in going into smaller markets,” Holthauser says. The Brooklyn Center hotel will be the second in the country that has the new design. The first one opened recently in a suburb of Jackson, MS.

Holthauser says the new format won’t replace the traditional design. But, it likely will account for most Embassy Suites to be developed in the next couple of years.

The Embassy Suites is the first of two hotels to be built next to the Earle Brown Heritage Center, according to John Sheehan, an agent specializing in the hospitality market at Edina, MN-based Cambridge Commercial Realty. Sheehan negotiated the development agreement with the city for both hotel projects. The brand for the other hotel, which will probably have about 75 rooms, is yet to be determined, he says.

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