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Hotel boom in cards for Stafford?
Stafford County experiencing a bit of a hotel building boom.


Date published: 6/1/2011

By Bill Freehling

A hotel building boom could occur soon along a 5-mile stretch of U.S. 1 in North Stafford.

Four hotel projects are being planned in that area, whose growth is due in large part to the rapidly developing Marine Corps Base Quantico. Each of the four projects call for a four- or five-story building with 95 to 100 rooms or suites.

Hotel financing has been among the toughest to obtain during the economic downtown, but that doesn't seem to be deterring the projects, which would add nearly 400 hotel rooms to Stafford.

The southernmost project is a planned Fairfield Inn on Derrick Lane off the east side of U.S. 1 just south of Aquia Town Center. Area residents have opposed the Fairfield project, which is next to a Marriott Towne Place Suites, saying it's too close to their homes. Stafford TownePlace LLC, which is managed by Nadir Gillani, owns the existing Marriott and is planning the Fairfield.

A little to the north, a Home2 Suites by Hilton hotel is to be built next to Aquia Pines Camp Resort. The developer is Stafford Hospitality LLC, which is represented by Stafford attorney Clark Leming. The project, which is on the Stafford Planning Commission's June 15 agenda, has applied for a conditional-use permit that would allow a larger floor-area ratio.

Aquia Pines owner Everett Lovell is planning a Suburban Extended Stay Hotel next to his camp facility and just to the north of the planned Hilton. Lovell's hotel, which also would be on the west side of U.S. 1, would be on about 2.8 acres.

Lovell, who has owned Aquia Pines for 25 years, said he frequently gets guests who need a place to stay for a week or two. He thinks his hotel can co-exist well with the higher-end Hilton property. Lovell hopes to break ground on his hotel in a month; he said construction will take about a year.

Finally, North Dakota-based hotel development company Tharaldson Hospitality plans to buy 2 acres about 700 feet back from the entrance to the Quantico Corporate Center for a Courtyard by Marriott.

In Fredericksburg, the University of Mary Washington Foundation is working on plans for a similar-sized hotel in Eagle Village, which also is off U.S. 1.

Bill Freehling: 540/374-5405
Email: bfreehling@freelancestar.com