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Valencia to get new Sheraton hotel

Will add 200 rooms to local capacity

Posted: January 5, 2009 9:36 p.m.
Updated: January 6, 2009 4:55 a.m.

City officials hope a 200-room Sheraton Hotel in Valencia will provide more jobs for residents and revenue for the city.

Sheraton officials are working with the city of Santa Clarita and The Newhall Land and Farming Company over the design phase of the seven-story hotel, said Jeff Lambert, planning consultant for Sheraton.

Sheraton hopes to resubmit plans to the city for design review in January.

If the city approves the design plans, Sheraton's building application could come before the Santa Clarita Planning Commission by spring, Lambert said Monday.

The hotel provides a number of benefits for the city once built, including revenue through the transit occupancy tax, said Paul Brotzman, director of community development for the city.

"That could be a significant source of revenue for the city," he said. "It also helps employment within the community."

The Sheraton Hotel would provide more meeting space and ballrooms for large groups and functions.

"Right now, we've just got the Hyatt (Valencia)," Brotzman said.

Sheraton officials estimate the hotel will offer 200 rooms, 7,500-square-foot banquet and meeting space, a restaurant and a bar, Lambert said.

Lambert could not estimate the cost of the project.

This would be the first Sheraton Hotel for the Santa Clarita Valley, already home to 18 hotels.

Two new hotels, Courtyard Marriott and Embassy Suites, opened here in 2007.

The proposed seven-story hotel on McBean Parkway will be across the street from Westfield Valencia Town Center, on a nearly four-acre site occupied by The Greens in Valencia, a putting course and restaurant.

Brisam Valencia LLC bought the site for $6 million in 2006 then Brisam entered into a contract with Sheraton to operate the hotel.

The Greens remained open since the 2006 sale.

The hotel could be built by fall of 2010, assuming the project is approved and officials receive the building permit quickly, Lambert said.

Sheraton decided to pursue a location in Valencia after a study showed a "clear strong potential" for additional hotel beds in Santa Clarita, Lambert said.

The hotel occupancy rate for the Santa Clarita Valley hit 60.9 percent in October 2008, the most recent month available, said Jessica Freude, economic development associate for the city.

The data, provided by Smith Travel Research, shows that 1,154 rooms were booked with 1,895 available.
The numbers are down compared with October 2007's, which had a hotel occupancy rate of 71.8 percent.

Freude considers the numbers to be in line with the rest of the country's.

Fall and winter seasons are traditionally low for hotel occupancy and Freude anticipates the numbers for the spring and summer will be stronger as events like the Amgen bike tour of California and the annual Cowboy Festival generally boost local tourism.


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