Hotel developer starts one of three projects in Dearborn, Mich.

A local hotel owner and developer plans to break ground this week on an $18-million project that will bring a four-story Holiday Inn Express & Suites and Staybridge Suites to Dearborn, Michigan.

The development is one of three projects totaling $49 million in investment that owner Akram Namou has in the works to pair limited-service and extended-stay offerings next door to each other.

Collectively, the three projects are expected to create 225-235 new hospitality jobs. None of the three include local or state incentives. Namou and his co-investors are refinancing some of their other properties to bring seed money to the new projects, and banks are financing 75 percent of the projects' costs.

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Flagstar Bank is financing the Dearborn project, and Wells Fargo & Co. is financing the Troy deal. Namou is still working on financing for the Warren location.

Namou co-owns 10 full-service hotels and 70 limited-service hotels and extended-stay properties, most in Southeast Michigan. He also has ownership in a handful of hotels in Grand Rapids and Toledo and plans to open a 79-room Holiday Inn Express & Suites in Frankenmuth July 1.

The new Dearborn hotels will help meet corporate and leisure traveler demand from visitors to The Henry Ford museum and Greenfield Village, Namou said.

Namou and fellow investor Malik Abdulnoor, who will operate the Dearborn hotels, purchased the site at the southwest corner of Michigan Avenue and Telegraph Road last year for $2 million from West Dearborn Lodging. After razing the former Showcase Dearborn movie theater on the site, Namou and Abdulnoor plan to break ground this week on a 105-room Holiday Inn Express and 99-suite Staybridge Suites.

The Dearborn hotels should be completed within a year. Birmingham-based Saroki Architecture is architect and Bloomfield Hills-based Jonna Construction Co. is contractor for both the Dearborn and Troy projects.

Demolition of an empty office building on Stephenson just north of 14 Mile in Troy began in early May to clear space for a similar development. According to Namou there are several other investors on the project, separate from the operator/investors on the Dearborn and Warren projects.

Construction should begin by August and be completed within a year. When completed, the 91-room Fairfield Inn & Suites and TownePlace Suites by Marriott extended stay with 89 suites are expected to create a total of 55 jobs.

Namou plans to transfer the Fairfield Inn flag for the new site from a nearby hotel at Stephenson and I-75 south of 14 Mile in Madison Heights to the new limited-service hotel in Troy. He also plans to convert the Madison Heights hotel, meanwhile, to the economy brand Baymont Inn & Suites. Marriott did not review its license.

In Warren, Namou said he and the local operators/co-owners of the Rodeway Inn, brothers Saher and Maher Abdulnoor (siblings to Malik, the Dearborn investor) are preparing to demolish the aging hotel within six months. The Abdulnoors previously operated supermarket and liquor stores in Detroit.

A 100-room Hampton Inn & Suites and Homewood Suites extended stay with 100 suites will take its place within two years. Construction on the $16-million project is scheduled to begin in 2015. The architect and contractor for the project have yet to be named.

When completed, the two hotels, a half mile from the General Motors Tech Center, are expected to create 60 jobs.

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