Ritz-Carlton to open hotel on Sarasota Bay Atlanta-based The Ritz-Carlton Co. plans to open a 270-room hotel in Sarasota, Fla., this summer. Core Development will own and develop the hotel, while Ritz-Carlton will manage the property.

All 270 guestrooms, which will include 26 suites, will overlook Sarasota Bay and the downtown waterfront. Amenities will include a 20,000 sq. ft. spa, a beach club on Lido Key, a fitness center, tennis courts and an outdoor swimming pool.

The Ritz-Carlton Club will be accessible by a private elevator and will offer concierge services. The hotel also will feature 18,000 sq. ft. of conference space and a business center.

Choice Hotels receives extra spending money Choice Hotels International has received $102 million in cash and a $35 million seven-year subordinated note from Sunburst Hospitality Corp. Choice hotels plans to use the cash to invest in properties, repurchase stock shares and pay down debt.

The two Silver Spring, Md.-based companies previously formed a strategic alliance to enhance development of the MainStay Suites hotel brand.

Fairfield adds Dolphin's Cove to its resort portfolio Orlando, Fla.-based Fairfield Communities Inc. has added the 136-unit Dolphin's Cove Resort in Anaheim, Calif., to its rapidly growing portfolio. The company purchased the property from Dolphin's Cove Resort LTD, an affiliate of Winner's Circle Resorts International Inc. Featuring one-, two- and three- bedroom suites, Dolphin's Cove is adjacent to the Walt Disney Co.'s new California Adventure theme park.

Fairfield Communities has acquired management rights to the resort and the option to develop an oceanside ownership property in Southern California. Fairfield also is scheduled to open the 416-unit Fairfield Grand Desert resort in Las Vegas in July 2001.

Developers nab South Beach property for De Soleil resort Miami Beach developers Ron Molko and Gene Grabarnick have purchased the last undeveloped site on posh Ocean Drive to build De Soleil South Beach. The 80-unit ownership property will be a condo-hotel offering purchasers the option of placing their units into the hotel inventory to be rented as guestrooms.

Construction will begin in the summer and the resort is scheduled to open in late 2002. The resort's 27 penthouse units will feature circular staircases leading to rooftop terraces. The project also will include an indoor-outdoor restaurant and 8,000 sq. ft. of retail.

The two Miami Beach developers previously introduced the condo-hotel concept to South Beach with the 44-unit Mercury Resort at Collins Avenue and First Street.

Equity Inns inks deal to manage 16 Hilton hotels Germantown, Tenn.-based Equity Inns Inc. has signed an agreement to manage 16 Hilton Hotels Corp. hotels for a two-year term. The properties include 15 Hampton Inns and one Homewood Suites hotel now owned by the Beverly Hills, Calif.-based REIT. All the hotels were previously leased and managed by Pittsburgh-based Interstate Hotels Corp.

The contract was made possible by passage of the REIT Modernization Act, which allows REITs to establish subsidiaries that function as lessees.

and to assign management contracts.

to independent companies. The majority of the 16 properties are located in Texas, Tennessee and Alabama. Beverly Hills, Calif.-based Hilton Hotel Corp. also will continue to manage four other Equity Inns-owned hotels from a previous arrangement.

Millennium continues development frenzy with $615 million in loans New York-based Millennium Partners has closed on a $215 million loan to finance the construction of the Four Seasons Hotel and Tower Miami. In a separate loan, the company received $400 million to pay for the acquisition of six hotels to be operated as Ritz-Carlton resorts.

Scheduled to open in fall 2002, the 800-foot tall Four Seasons on Brickell Avenue in Miami will feature 222 hotel rooms, 176 condominiums, 84 condo-hotel units and a spa. The project also will include 200,000 sq. ft. of Class-A office space.

The $215 million loan was issued by Fleet National Bank, Westdeutsche

ImmobilienBank and Ocean Bank. Millennium Partners is developing the project with Miami-based development partner Terremark Worldwide Inc.

Millennium Partners, which is developing approximately $3 billion in mixed-use projects in the United States, also will use a $400 million loan underwritten by Dresdner Bank Real Estate and DePfa Bank AG to acquire six properties. The properties included in the loan are The Ritz-Carlton, New York on Central Park (287 rooms); The Ritz-Carlton, Downtown New York, in Battery Park City (298 rooms); The Ritz-Carlton, Boston, on The Public Garden (180 rooms); The Ritz-Carlton Boston Common (191 rooms); The Ritz-Carlton, Washington, D.C., in the West End (300 rooms), and The Ritz-Carlton, Georgetown (93 rooms). The hotels are owned by MPE Hotel I LLC, an investment vehicle capitalized by subsidiaries of two German insurance companies.

Ritz-Carlton president to leave post in first quarter Tishman buys trophy property in Windy City An affiliate of New York-based Tishman Realty Corp. has purchased the 424-room Westin River North Chicago. Located in the fast-growing River North District of Chicago, the 20-story hotel was purchased from Lend Lease Real Estate Investments' Value Enhancement Fund III. The property joins the 1,200-room Sheraton Chicago Hotel & Towers as Tishman's second major hotel in the Windy City.

A Tishman Realty Corp. affiliate provided equity for the acquisition, and Tishman Hotel Corp.'s Investment Banking Group arranged first mortgage financing for the deal. The hotel will continue to be operated by Westin Hotels & Resorts, a division of White Plains, N.Y.-based Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide Inc. The Westin River North Chicago has been ranked as one of the Top 50 hotels by Conde Naste Traveler. Tishman Construction Corp. Built the hotel in 1987.

New York-based Millennium Partners has closed on a $215 million loan to finance the construction of the Four Seasons Hotel and Tower Miami. In a separate loan, the company received $400 million to pay for the acquisition of six hotels to be operated as Ritz-Carlton resorts.

Scheduled to open in fall 2002, the 800-foot tall Four Seasons on Brickell Avenue in Miami will feature 222 hotel rooms, 176 condominiums, 84 condo-hotel units and a spa. The project also will include 200,000 sq. ft. of Class-A office space.

The $215 million loan was issued by Fleet National Bank, Westdeutsche ImmobilienBank and Ocean Bank. Millennium Partners is developing the project with Miami-based development partner Terremark Worldwide Inc. Millennium Partners, which is developing approximately $3 billion in mixed-use projects in the United States, also will use a $400 million loan underwritten by Dresdner Bank Real Estate and DePfa Bank AG to acquire six properties.

The properties included in the loan are: The Ritz-Carlton, New York on Central Park (287 rooms); The Ritz-Carlton, Downtown New York, in Battery Park City (298 rooms); The Ritz-Carlton, Boston, on The Public Garden (180 rooms); The Ritz-Carlton Boston Common (191 rooms); The Ritz-Carlton, Washington, D.C., in the West End (300 rooms); and The Ritz-Carlton, Georgetown (93 rooms). The hotels are owned by MPE Hotel I LLC, an investment vehicle capitalized by subsidiaries of two German insurance companies.