Construction has begun on the new Delta Hotels by Marriott Dallas Allen and Watters Creek Convention Center, in the southeast corner of U.S. 75 and Bethany Drive in Allen. The project is expected to take 18 months and will be the largest conference center along the U.S. 75 corridor between Dallas and Oklahoma.
“This hotel and convention center will make Allen a true destination in the state of Texas and the nation,” said the city’s mayor, Stephen Terrell, at the groundbreaking celebration on Tuesday. “You have the shopping and dining at Watters Creek across the street, but there’s also many more options for shopping, dining and entertainment that are easily accessible throughout the city. This will allow people to have somewhere unique to come stay and enjoy Allen.”
The project will include 300 deluxe guest rooms, a six-story parking garage with 1,000 spaces and 90,000 square feet of flexible convention, ballroom and meeting space. The hotel will be operated by Benchmark Hospitality, as a Delta Hotels by Marriott. Delta Hotels is a rapidly growing premium full-service brand within Marriott, known for its upscale modern appeal and distinct style of simple made perfect.
The Allen location will be the first ever in the United States that is built by the brand from the ground up.
“We are very excited about this partnership and Delta’s expansion into Allen,” says Gregory Durrer, global brand leader for Delta Hotels by Marriott. “Allen is a growing city and the services and amenities that we bring will be a perfect fit for convention center visitors as well as locals.”
The hotel will include a fitness center, swimming pool, indoor and outdoor dining options and is perfectly located within walking distance to nearby shopping and dining options. “We’re looking into local partnerships with well-known culinary chefs to offer a unique food and beverage experience,” Durrer added.
The large size of the convention center, paired with the hotel space, is a great match, he says. “We know that people will be coming to the convention center for business or sports programs, and we hope that they’ll consider staying a few extra days to take in the city. Local residents are, of course, also welcomed and are sure to enjoy this new addition to the vibrant area.”
The $91 million hotel and convention center is being funded jointly by the city of Allen, the Allen Economic Development Corporation (AEDC) and the Allen Community Development Corporation (CDC). It’s being built by Dallas-based Altera Development, along with Peinado and Crossland construction companies. Funding is being provided by IBC Bank.
“This project really is the model of the new wave of public/private partnerships,” says Mike Kennedy, a partner in Altera Development. “We already know that Allen is great at booking business. They have a lot going on, as well as an active Convention and Visitors Bureau, well-managed growth and a cost that’s slightly lower than most nearby cities. This new project is just going to add to all that.”
Planning for a convention center/hotel in Allen has been in the works for at least eight years, with the project gaining the most traction in the past three years, city officials have said. “Over that time, we’ve had to go back to the drawing board several times,” explains Dan Bowman, Executive Director of the Allen Economic Development Cooperation. “However, each time we’ve come back with something larger and more enhanced. It’s because of that patience and the vision of our mayor and previous councils that we’re able to offer the project we have today.”
The hotel and conference center will serve as the cornerstone of the Watters Creek Office Park, an area that includes one billion square feet of office space. Construction has already begun on the first phase of a key building in the park, One Bethany at Watters Creek, which is expected to open in the first quarter of 2018.