Courtyard by Marriott coming to Fort Mill

A North Carolina-based hospitality company is building a 125-room Courtyard by Marriott in the Kingsley Park North development off S.C. 160.

Mark Laport, president and chief executive officer of Concord Hospitality of Raleigh, N.C., said the relocations of Charlotte-based Lash Group and LPL Financial, as well as the consistent growth of Fort Mill, attracted his company to the project.

Laport said the Courtyard by Marriott at Kingsley will only be typical in size. The intent is to take the brand and drive “the quality side to the largest degree.”

The hotel also will have two things not typical of the brand, a design that blends contemporary and mill architecture and a 4,000-square-foot ballroom capable of holding 200 people at a sit-down event and up to 400 at a standup event. “We added the ballroom because we saw a hole in the market,” Laport said.

Laport said the hotel’s design will fit the theme of the planned retail development. The hotel will “have a substantial look with a lot of bricks.” The design will take its inspiration from the textile mills that once were the area’s primary employer.

Construction should start this summer with projected opening date of the fall of 2016.

The hotel is the third major development of the Kingsley Park North property near Interstate 77. In June of last year the Lash Group and LPL Financial announced plans to build new headquarters in the Kingsley development.

The Lash Group, a health care consulting firm, plans to invest up to $90 million to build its “dream” headquarters at Kingsley Park North. The group will initially employ about 1,200 in Fort Mill, expandable to a 2,400-person work force in several years. The company intends to keep about 600 workers in Charlotte through 2019.

LPL Financial is investing at least $150 million for its regional headquarters. The company plans to bring 1,000 jobs from Charlotte and hopes to expand to about 3,000 jobs over time. Construction of the LPL Financial building started in February.

The Courtyard by Marriott at Kingsley is owned by Concord Clear Springs Hotel LLC, a partnership between Concord Hospitality and Kingsley developer Clear Springs Development Co.

Concord Hospitality operates 25 Courtyard properties, with three more in development in addition to Kingsley. Concord Hospitality is a 10-time winner of Marriott’s Partnership Circle award, the highest honor Marriott presents to its owner and franchise partners for hospitality excellence.

Concord Hospitality owns and/or manages 83 hotels in 18 states and two Canadian provinces, including and a Homewood Suites near Charlotte-Douglas International Airport.

“We always envisioned a hotel in Kingsley because of the easy access and visibility to I-77, and we are thrilled to bring Courtyard by Marriott to Fort Mill,” said James Traynor, president of Clear Springs Development Co. “This high quality brand is a great fit in our overall vision for Kingsley.”

Located at the crossroads of Interstate 77 and S.C. 160, Kingsley as planned will have more than 1.5 million square feet of commercial space including 150,000 square feet of restaurants and shops, an amphitheater and multi-family units over retail. The development is in close proximity to the 2,000-acre Anne Springs Close Greenway.

Building a hotel in Kingsley was part of the recruitment deal that brought LPL Financial and the Lash Group, said Fort Mill Mayor Danny Funderburk.

The Courtyard by Marriott will be the second hotel at the interchange. The Warren Norman Co. partnered with Hampton Inn and Suites to build a 102-room hotel on the other side of the interstate. Ralph Norman said his firm intends to build a second hotel at the interchange.

Funderburk said the hotels are part of the natural development progression. “Rooftops (housing) leads to commercial growth,” he said.

Lisa Meadows, executive director of the Rock Hill-York County Convention & Visitors Bureau, said the new Marriott will serve a growing hospitality need. She said the hotel will attract both business clients and tourists.

“If they can keep occupancy at 60 to 70 percent then everyone will still have their fair share of the market,” Meadows said.

Don Worthington •  803-329-4066