Podcast: “I had probably the most-pleasant development experience of my career (in College Station)”

Whenever we hear about new businesses, it’s typically an initial announcement about what’s coming, where it’ll be and when it’ll open. Maybe you’ll eventually hear about the ribbon cutting, but that’s about it.

In this podcast episode, we talk with Ted Ent — president and COO of Mac Haik Hospitality — about the new Embassy Suites that’s scheduled to open Oct. 2 near the Texas A&M campus. Ted describes how he was able to secure a location that no one thought was available, what successes and challenges were part of the development process, and whether or not College Station has too many hotels.

00:00 – Introduction

01:45 — Ted talks about his background in the industry

03:00 — How did College Station get on your radar?

04:40 — “Folklore in the hotel industry”: How he secured such a prime location.

09:28 — College Station provided the most-pleasant development experience of his career.

13:08 — Ted’s role throughout the development process.

14:53 — The use of a local artist; other Ted touches.

16:30 — The Sabre

17:24 — Challenges along the way (traffic, utilities).

21:12 — Don’t we have too many hotels in College Station?

25:34 — What amenities are needed in the area that don’t currently exist?

29:40 — Show close

Uptown University Drive: The Unofficial Entrance to Aggieland

Article excerpt:

…University Drive is now one of the busiest streets in College Station. Chains like Ulta, Home Depot, and Michael’s join locally owned businesses such as Veritas Wine & Bistro, Blue Baker, and Charli women’s clothing store. Both residents and guests have plenty of opportunities to shop and dine along the three-mile stretch. Aggie entrepreneurs are well-represented along the three-mile stretch: Aggieland Outfitters, the Republic Steakhouse, David Gardner’s Jewelers, and Paolo’s Italian Kitchen all the way down to the iconic Dixie Chicken at Northgate.

Student and young professional housing options now line University Drive. Northpoint Crossing occupies the prime corner of Texas Avenue and University Drive. Formerly the location of the Ramada Inn, the student apartments provide housing to hundreds of students as well as retail and restaurant space on the ground level.

Further down the corridor, Century Square is the newest development directly across from the Texas A&M campus. This urban center is located where Texas A&M’s former married student housing once stood. Cavalry Court, a Corps-inspired boutique hotel, opened in November 2016. Across the complex, The George hotel is set to open in August offering an “upscale whiskey and leather” ambiance. The George’s design is a nod to the early beginnings of College Station as part of the railroad routes, says Century Square General Manager John Taylor.

Restaurants and retail will surround the Midway and Valencia-owned hotels. Food locations include Hopdoddy, Zoë’s Kitchen, Blaze Pizza, Tiff’s Treats, Berryhill Baja Grill, Piada Italian Street Food, Mo’s Irish Pub, Sub Zero, and Sweet Paris Crêperie. Retail stores will include Merge, Hey Sugar, and Runway 7. A movie theatre, Star Cinema Grill, will also open around the holidays. Other additions to the urban center include the Breakaway Ministries administrative office, Galleria Day Spa, Neighbors Emergency Center, and Orangetheory Fitness.

Two office buildings will open on either side of The George. A 21-and-older living community, 100 Park is located across the street from one of the office buildings, and offers studio, one bedroom, and two bedroom floor plans…

Full article at Insite Brazos Valley Magazine

 

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