Legacy Property breaks ground on Centennial Olympic Park project Construction has begun on downtown Atlanta's first new full-service hotel in 13 years, a $47 million, 320-room Doubletree Guest Suites. Representing the first commercial project to be developed at Centennial Olympic Park, the hotel is the first phase of a $100 million mixed-use development.

Atlanta-based Legacy Property Group LLC is developing the five-acre site, which will later include two residential developments, another hotel and an office building.

Bass PLC to acquire Saison's Inter-Continental Hotels Reaching an agreement with owner Saison Group, Bass PLC is to acquire the entire business of Inter-Continental, including its hotel brands, Inter-Continental and Forum, and its hotel assets, for a total consideration of $2.9 billion. The business will operate as part of Bass' hotel division, Holiday Hospitality Corp. Inter-Continental's business consists of 197 hotels with 65,000 rooms in 69 countries.

HRI wins downtown St. Louis hotel development project Revitalizing St. Louis' landmark 20-story Gateway/Statler Hotel, Historic Restoration Inc. (HRI) of New Orleans has been chosen to develop a $172.5 million, 900-room project that combines new construction with restoration of the building.

Plans include restoring the ballroom atop the building and developing a 165-seat full-service restaurant, a 90-seat specialty restaurant, an indoor pool, a health club, new parking facilities, a terrace bar, an 80-seat lobby lounge and 55,000 sq. ft. of new meeting space. HRI will then construct a new 38-story tower connected to the building. The combined facility will operate as a Marriott Renaissance hotel.

Host Marriott keeps busy from coast to coast Well on its way to reaching its year-end acquisition goal of $750 million, Bethesda, Md.-based Host Marriott has entered into an agreement to purchase a 397-room Ritz-Carlton in Tysons Corner, Va., and it has completed the acquisition of a 48% controlling interest in the partnership that owns the Albany Marriott in New York, the San Diego Mission Valley in California and the Minneapolis Marriott Southwest in Minnesota. Host Marriott has also acquired a controlling interest in the Atlanta Marriott Marquis Hotel and, as part of the transaction, it will invest $75 million in the Atlanta Marriott Marquis II Limited Partnership in the form of a preferred equity contribution.

Tishman Realty increases ownership in three properties Bringing its ownership to 50%, New York-based Tishman Realty Corp. has acquired the interest of one of its original co-investors in the Walt Disney World Dolphin and the Walt Disney World Swan hotel and convention complex in central Florida. The remaining 50% is owned by the third original development partner, Metropolitan Life Insurance Co.

In another transaction, Tishman Realty completed a series of purchases which increased its ownership interest in the Sheraton Chicago Hotel & Towers to 67.5%.

Kennedy-Wilson sells three hotels on behalf of Japanese owners At a combined price of $65 million, New York-based Kennedy-Wilson International has completed the sale of three hotels in California and British Columbia on behalf of Japanese owners. The properties include the Marriott Residence Inn and the Harrison Hot Springs Hotel in British Columbia and Washington Suites Hotel in Orange County, Calif.

Recording a total of 246 hotels sales, Mineola, N.Y.-based HVS International's Research Services division reports that 1997 was a record year with the highest volume of hotel sales since its Major Hotel Sales Survey commenced in 1990. Public hotel companies and REITs led the way in acquisition volume, while resorts commanded the highest price per room for a second year, the survey says. Average price per room jumped from $106,000 to almost $123,000.

Of the 246 sales tallied, the number of individual property sales above $200 million doubled, and the number of properties sold for between $50 million and $99.99 million increased by almost 70%.

HVS defines a major hotel sale as a single-asset sale of more than $10 million or a package sale in which the purchase price of each individual property could be allocated to yield a cost of more than $10 million.