Dunn Hospitality to Develop Courtyard by Marriott Within $60 Million Mixed-Use Development Near Indianapolis

USA, Indianapolis, Indiana. May 27, 2020

Thompson Thrift Retail Group (TTRG), a wholly owned company of Thompson Thrift, announced that it has closed on the sale of the hotel pad at The Stations, a $60-million mixed-use development in the Indianapolis suburb of Fishers, Ind. The buyer, Indiana-based Dunn Hospitality, will spend $20 million to build a 145-room Courtyard by Marriott that it plans to open in the latter half of 2021.

The Courtyard will feature meeting space, expansive fitness facilities, an indoor pool, room service and a bistro bar offering sit-down meals throughout the day. The new hotel is expected to accommodate the expanding business and leisure travel needs of the rapidly growing Fishers suburb.

"The fundamentals of this area continue to be compelling for a wide variety of uses," said Eric Wojak, development director for Thompson Thrift. "Our adjacent mixed-use development, Fishers District, has quickly become a destination of choice for consumers, tenants and travelers seeking quality dining and retail options, walkable amenities and convenient access to the nearby interstate. Having a hotel for the business traveler located behind the future office building is a great fit for the project."

David Dunn, president and chief operating officer of Dunn Hospitality, stated, "We were well-positioned with funding in place that allowed us to move forward amid the current economic climate. We think our development timeline will enable us to build this project while the economy recovers and bring another award-winning hotel to market at an opportune time."

Later this year, TTRG expects to begin construction of a class-A, four-story office building with 60,000 square feet of demisable office space. The building will feature an expansive lobby with elevators, outdoor work areas on the top floor of the building, excellent visibility from 116th Street along with building and street signage opportunities. TTRG is also completing initial site work on the back portion of the property for Pulte Homes to develop 37 three-story townhomes.

With convenient access from I-69 and 116th Street, The Stations offers businesses and travelers a central location with proximity to Indiana's only Topgolf and IKEA, which together attract nearly 1.5 million visitors each year. The Stations is adjacent to Fishers District, a TTRG project with over 100,000 square feet of unique retail and dining options, 260 multifamily units and a 211-room dual-brand Hyatt Place/Hyatt House that was also developed by Dunn Hospitality.

"We are thrilled to be the exclusive hospitality partner for Thompson Thrift's Fishers projects," said Dunn. "We share their vision for creating high-performing destinations that offer world-class experiences for everyone that visits."

TTRG is a full-service real estate development company focused on ground-up commercial and mixed-use development across the Midwest, Southeast and Southwest. During the past 30+ years, the company has invested more than $2.2 billion into local communities and has become known as a trusted partner committed to developing high-quality, attractive projects. The master planned Station and Fisher's District projects are reflective of a robust growth strategy focused on areas with impressive demographics and a demand for quality commercial options.

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Hotel Group Meetings: Demand vs. Supply

It is a great time for hotel group meetings. It is expected that once again this sector will grow by 5-10% in 2020, partly due to the increasing value of in-person group meetings. Because people now spend so much time in front of their screens, face-to-face interactions have become a more treasured commodity in our modern world. Plus, the use of social media reinforces the value of engagement, discussion, conversation, and networking - all areas where group meetings shine. Despite this rosy outlook, there is a concern that demand for meetings far exceeds the supply of suitable venues and hotels. There are very few "big box" properties with 500-plus rooms and extensive conference facilities being built, and this shortage of inventory could pose a serious challenge for meeting planners. In addition to location concerns, the role of the meeting planner has also evolved significantly. Planners are no longer just meeting coordinators - they are de facto travel agents. Cultural interactions, local dining, experiential travel, and team-building activities are all now a part of their meeting mix. Plus, they have to cater to evolving tastes. Millennials are insisting on healthier venues and activities, and to meet their demands, hotels are making yoga breaks, fresh-pressed juices, plant-based diets, state-of-the-art gyms, and locally-sourced menus available. Millennials are also insisting that meeting venues practice Corporate Social Responsibility, which means upholding sustainable and ethical values; investment in the local community; health and well-being of employees; and general business practices that reflect being good citizens of the planet. Finally, there is a growing trend to merge meetings with other local events, such as music festivals, sporting events, and cultural attractions. The December Hotel Business Review will report on issues relevant to group meetings and will document what some hotels are doing to support this part of their operations.