Visitors to the area may soon have a couple new hotel options near the Sherman Town Center.
The Sherman Planning & Zoning Commission approved a specific use permit and site plan Tuesday for Moe Hospitality LLC to allow two hotels and an event center to be built on the north end of the Town Center development. The plans call for a five-story Residence Inn Marriott with a separate one-story event center and a four-story second hotel of unnamed affiliation at 811 Graham Drive. The five-story building will be 81,618 square feet with 120 rooms, while the four-story building will be 47,075 square feet with 77 rooms. The event center will be 6,220 square feet and parking will be provided for 284 spaces on the property.
“We bought the land probably about four years ago and we’ve been waiting and waiting until we thought the time was right,” Doug Bradley of Moe Hospitality said. “We’ve been working on the project for approximately five years. There’s been quite a few hotels built in Denison, but it’s been over a decade since there’s been any new hotels built in Sherman, so we feel like there’s a need for new product here.”
Bradley said his company, which owns the Hampton Inn & Suites in Denison, is still in negotiations on the brand for the second hotel, so it won’t be announced until its license is in place.
“What we’re looking at is something very new to the market, a very revolutionary brand,” Bradley said. “It is part of one of your major players — one of your flagship brands in hospitality.”
The Residence Inn Marriott was a separate request from the Courtyard Marriott approved by the commission and City Council earlier in the year. The site plan approved for that development by Sherman Hotels LLC calls for a five-story hotel with 117 rooms at 4344 Loy Lake Road.
The council’s approval of the Courtyard Marriott’s plan in June was actually the third time a specific use permit had been granted for the hotel — the previous instances were in June 2011 and November 2015 — though construction has still not begun on the hotel.
Bradley said while the planned Courtyard Marriott will face Loy Lake Road, the Residence Inn Marriott, event center and second hotel will face the rest of the Sherman Town Center development, near its JC Penney store.
“So you’re really creating more of an environment and more of a destination by having those hotels and that event center,” Bradley said.
The Moe Hospitality representative said his company is planning to move forward with construction “pretty quickly.” He said the Residence Inn Marriott and the event center will begin construction first with the second hotel following in a second phase of construction.
At the time of the Courtyard Marriott’s site plan approval by the commission in May, Ashwin Thakkar, who represented Sherman Hotels LLC in front of the commission, said the owners would like to see the hotel open as soon as possible, so they were hoping to see construction on the hotel get underway soon and hopefully open by next year.
Bradley said the planned 6,220-square-foot event center could compete with the Texoma Event Center at the Hilton Garden Inn in Denison.
“A lot of the events that are maybe having to go outside of Sherman can be recaptured to the city,” Bradley said, explaining the event center will be able to accommodate 400 people in a banquet setting and 600 in a theater setting.
The Texoma Event Center, which opened with the Hilton hotel in November 2014, has 20,000 square feet of meeting and event space, including a 10,000-square-foot ballroom that can accommodate seating for up to 1,000.
The commission’s board of adjustments also granted an exception to allow the two hotel buildings to be 61 feet tall and 56 feet tall instead of the usually required 45-foot tall limit with just three stories. Commission member Joe Gilbert asked whether the city had any history of exceptions to that requirement and Director of Development Services Scott Shadden said there have been exceptions before.
The exception, specific use permit and site plan were each approved unanimously.
“We believe the addition of these two hotels to the Town Center will make the Town Center even more of a destination,” Bradley said. “It will bring more customers to the restaurants. It will help Sherman recapture some of the lost tax revenues and generate new revenues for the city.”