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Tru by Hilton's lobby "command center" is surrounded by four zones.
Jax Daily Record Friday, Sep. 30, 201612:00 PM EST

Tru by Hilton coming to Town Center Promenade; brand targets millennials

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A new Hilton hotel brand designed to attract leisure and corporate travelers, particularly millennials, will fly its first Northeast Florida flag at the Town Center Promenade.

Tennessee-based partners intend to build an estimated $9.7 million Tru by Hilton in the Promenade that is under development along Town Center Parkway, across from St. Johns Town Center.

Partner Roshan Patel said Thursday the four-story, 98-room hotel should start construction by year-end and be completed about nine months later.

He said the $1.45 million deal to buy 1.5 acres should close imminently. The construction cost is estimated at $8.25 million.

“It is a really good fit for the area with the college nearby since we are targeting the millennial traveler,” Patel said.

The University of North Florida is near the Town Center, providing a population base of millennials, considered those from their teens to early 30s. Florida Community College at Jacksonville has its Southside and Deerwood campuses not far from there.

Patel said Town Center Hotel Partners LLC will own the property. That company comprises him and Alpesh Patel, CEO of Kana Hotel Group in Knoxville, Tenn. Kana will manage the property, Patel said.

He said his group also is building a Tru by Hilton in Tallahassee, home to Florida State University.

Site plans show Tru will be built along an existing lake on the property.

Plans show a patio, but Patel said there would not be a pool.

Hilton Worldwide markets Tru as “a revolutionary new midscale brand” that is “simplified, spirited and grounded in value.”

It designed the brand to attract generations united by a “millennial mind-set.” It says it focuses on hotel basics — bed, shower, technology — along with a public space to foster connections at a value price.

USA Today reported in January rates at Tru vary by location, but will be in the $90 to $100 range.

A Hilton Worldwide presentation about Tru shows a lot of color, graphics and textures throughout the hotel.

It calls the lobby “The Hive.” A “command center” with a marketplace is central, surrounded by four zones: work, with private spaces, booths and alcoves; play, with wall and table games; lounge, with flexible seating arrangements; and eat, for the complimentary breakfast, coffee or tea or to buy other treats, meals and drinks from the market.

There will be digital check-in and wireless internet access, fixed and portable screens for entertainment and information, and other technology.

Rooms will feature platform beds, 65-inch TVs and storage areas like a luggage bench and an open closet area. Instead of a desk there will be a multifunctional chair, said USA Today.

The first Tru by Hilton property is expected to open in summer 2017 in Oklahoma City.

Hilton Worldwide said it has 120 Tru executed agreements, totaling more than 11,000 rooms, along with another 200 hotels in process representing more than 18,000 rooms

“We launched Tru with the goal of reinventing the midscale segment and its phenomenal success proves the market was ready for this truly disruptive brand,” said Christopher Nassetta, president and CEO, Hilton Worldwide, in a news release.

Construction began this year in Georgia, Oklahoma and Wyoming, followed by a concentrated series of groundbreakings in seven more states.

Texas Roadhouse might join Promenade

A Texas Roadhouse restaurant wants to open at Town Center Promenade.

Site plans filed with the city show a 7,163-square-foot restaurant on 2.54 acres, near the lake.

Texas Roadhouse operates a location in Orange Park.

Spokesman Travis Doster said Thursday the company has submitted plans but does not have a signed contract and can’t provide much information until then.

The menu includes steaks, ribs, burgers, chicken, salads and seafood — and peanuts.

Texas Roadhouse Inc., based in Louisville, Ky., is a casual dining concept that began in 1993 and has grown to more than 500 restaurants in 49 states and internationally.

Texas Roadhouse would join several other restaurants announced for the Promenade: Red Robin Gourmet Burgers and Brews; Texas de Brazil Churrascaria Brazilian Steakhouse; Piada Italian Steakhouse; Newk’s Eatery; and a Starbucks coffee shop.

Core Property Capital is developing Town Center Promenade.

Hobby Lobby permit filed for The Strand

The city is reviewing a permit application for Hobby Lobby to build a 55,000-square-foot store in The Strand at Town Center at a project cost of $1.98 million.

Hobby Lobby will build at 4972 Town Center Parkway. No contractor is listed.

Preferred Growth Properties, the real estate subsidiary of Books-A-Million, is developing The Crossing and The Strand at Town Center and Gate parkways.

Hobby Lobby will join other expected retailers such as PGA Tour Superstore, TD Ameritrade, 2nd & Charles, Wawa, ABC Fine Wine & Spirits and others.

Restaurants at The Strand and The Crossing will include Chuy’s, Cheddar’s Scratch Kitchen, Firebirds Wood Fired Grill, Moe’s Southeast Grill and PDQ.

The 306-unit Ravella at Town Center apartments will be developed on the northern end of the project.

[email protected]

@MathisKb

(904) 356-2466

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