Business & Finance

Alex. Brown Realty JV with Hotel Development Partners to Develop Courtyard by Marriott in Alpharetta, Georgia

BALTIMORE, MD. October 10, 2017 - Alex. Brown Realty, Inc. (ABR) and Hotel Development Partners (HDP) have announced plans to develop a 115-room Courtyard by Marriott in Alpharetta, Georgia. ABR Chesapeake Fund V, a value-add real estate fund sponsored by ABR, invested $7.2 million in the joint venture. Financing for the project will be provided by the Bank of North Georgia, a division of Synovus Bank.

The joint venture recently closed on the 1.9 acre site located off of Old Milton Parkway directly across from Avalon – the 86-acre mixed-use development that is expected to be a major demand generator for the hotel. “Alpharetta is experiencing a wave of new office and mixed-use construction,” said Allen O'Brien, CEO of HDP. “The Courtyard will be positioned to meet the additional room night demand anticipated from both business and leisure travelers.”

Construction of the 115-room Courtyard is planned to begin this fall. The hotel will feature the brand’s standard offerings including an indoor pool, fitness facility, business center and Courtyard’s Bistro food and beverage concept. “Courtyard by Marriott has a proven track record of delivering a consistent, quality guest experience,” said Fred Cerrone, Founder & Chairman of Hotel Equities and COO of Hotel Development Partners. Hotel Equities, an affiliate of HDP and experienced hotel operator, will manage the hotel.

“The site is ideally located,” said Tom Burton, ABR’s CIO. “It’s within walking distance to Avalon, an abundance of retail and restaurant amenities and also offers easy access to downtown Alpharetta and GA 400. In addition, HDP and Hotel Equities have extensive experience in the Alpharetta market, which we expect will contribute to the success of the asset.” The acquisition represents the first transaction between ABR and HDP.

“We are impressed with Alpharetta’s market growth and the strength of the Courtyard brand,” said John Prugh, president and CEO of ABR. “We expect the Courtyard to produce a solid return for our investors.”

About Alex. Brown Realty

Alex. Brown Realty, Inc. (ABR) is a privately-owned real estate investment manager organized in 1972 and headquartered in Baltimore, Maryland. ABR co-invests with joint venture partners in a broad spectrum of property types located throughout the United States.

About Hotel Development Partners

Hotel Development Partners (HDP) is an Atlanta-based hospitality company with 13 existing hotels in Atlanta, Miami Beach and N. Charleston, SC. This includes 11 Marriott branded hotels and one under development. Principals are Robert J. McCarthy, Allen T. O’Brien and Frederick W. Cerrone. For more information, visit

About Hotel Equities

Hotel Equities (HE) is an Atlanta-based full-service hotel ownership, management and development firm operating more than 100 hotels throughout North America. Frederick W. Cerrone, CHA, serves as Chairman and Chief Executive Officer. Brad Rahinsky serves as President and Chief Operating Officer. For more information, visit

Tom Burton

Coming Up In The November Online Hotel Business Review

Feature Focus
Architecture & Design: Authentic, Interactive and Immersive
If there is one dominant trend in the field of hotel architecture and design, it’s that travelers are demanding authentic, immersive and interactive experiences. This is especially true for Millennials but Baby Boomers are seeking out meaningful experiences as well. As a result, the development of immersive travel experiences - winery resorts, culinary resorts, resorts geared toward specific sports enthusiasts - will continue to expand. Another kind of immersive experience is an urban resort – one that provides all the elements you'd expect in a luxury resort, but urbanized. The urban resort hotel is designed as a staging area where the city itself provides all the amenities, and the hotel functions as a kind of sophisticated concierge service. Another trend is a re-thinking of the hotel lobby, which has evolved into an active social hub with flexible spaces for work and play, featuring cafe?s, bars, libraries, computer stations, game rooms, and more. The goal is to make this area as interactive as possible and to bring people together, making the space less of a traditional hotel lobby and more of a contemporary gathering place. This emphasis on the lobby has also had an associated effect on the size of hotel rooms – they are getting smaller. Since most activities are designed to take place in the lobby, there is less time spent in rooms which justifies their smaller design. Finally, the wellness and ecology movements are also having a major impact on design. The industry is actively adopting standards so that new structures are not only environmentally sustainable, but also promote optimum health and well- being for the travelers who will inhabit them. These are a few of the current trends in the fields of hotel architecture and design that will be examined in the November issue of the Hotel Business Review.