Upscale hotel with conference center and ballroom planned for Owings Mills

Metro Center Owings Mills

David S. Brown Enterprises Ltd. is developing a full-service, 150-room hotel that company chairman Howard S. Brown said will be a first for the area’s hotel market.

A large hotel had always been part of David S. Brown’s transit-oriented Metro Centre development, but it was not clear when the company would pull the trigger on the project.

Brown said a recent study his company commissioned from hospitality consultant RevPAR International Inc. gives him confidence there is strong demand in the market for the hotel.

“They agree there is demand for a full-service hotel with a conference center and ballroom with catering and restaurants on-site,” Brown said. “We’ve already started designing it and we are going out to the banks now for financing.”

The hotel will include a 10,000-square-foot ballroom, a conference center, two restaurants, a coffee shop and a bar located off the lobby. Brown said the hotel will be independently run in a joint venture with an operator, meaning the hotel will not carry the name of a nationally recognized brand.

The project is expected to cost about $50 million and would be located at the corner of Grand Central Avenue and Painters Mill Road, within walking distance of the Owings Mills Metro station.

Although the hotel will compete with established names such as the Hilton Garden Inn on Owings Mills Boulevard and Hampton Inn on Red Run Boulevard, Brown said the hotel will have much more to offer than other hotel amenities in the market.

“Everything is limited service, and there’s nothing really new here,” Brown said.

Brown has already completed an apartment building with first-floor retail, a parking garage that regularly services 4,000 commuters and branches of the Community College of Baltimore County and county library system.

Although Brown has not begun work on the 1.2 million square feet of office space he is approved to build at Metro Centre, Brown has said he is pitching the project as a corporate headquarters location to McCormick & Co. Inc. Brown’s office broker, Lynn Abeshouse of Abeshouse Partners, said there is “another very serious corporate use of 400,000 square feet” that is looking at the project.

The hotel could prove an attractive draw for large corporate users that host out-of-town clients and employees, as the location would be walking distance from the office property David S. Brown is scheduled to build.

Brown also pointed out that large corporate tenants are already nearby, including Baltimore Life Co., T. Rowe Price Group Inc.’s Owings Mills campus, Zurich Insurance Co. and education institutions such as McDonogh School and Stevenson University.

“Not only do we have [transit-oriented development], we have [Interstate] 795, access to Carroll County,” Brown said. “You can come on and off the property without one traffic light.”

Kevin Litten covers Commercial Real Estate and Economic Development.

Baltimore Business Journal
Jul 1, 2014, 12:00pm EDT

Kevin Litten