Sheraton McKinney Hotel & Conference Center
Location: McKinney, TX
General Contractor: Beck Group
Mechanical Engineer: S. Toub & Associates
Completion Date: February, 26 2015
144,799-SF, 4-story, 187-key hotel
Full service kitchen with restaurant/bar and dining area
Over 20,000-SF of flexible meeting space
500-ton air-cooled chilled water system conditions building
150-tons of packaged outside air units precondition outside air entering building
An elegant hotel and conference center that city officials long imagined as the southern gateway to this suburb turned from dream to nightmare in a matter of months.
On Thursday, a more modest vision became reality with the opening of a $38 million Sheraton hotel and conference center.
In recent years, McKinney leaders had slowly revived a scaled-down version of the failed public-private venture that had become a stain on the city. After the recession hit in 2008, the building frame sat abandoned at U.S. Highway 75 and Sam Rayburn Tollway.
City officials say the 187-room Sheraton McKinney Hotel and Conference Center will spur corporate development and amenities nearby, benefiting visitors and office workers. They also hope it will help the students and staff of the neighboring Collin Higher Education Center.
Dozens of people packed the lobby Thursday night to celebrate with speeches and champagne.
“They told me I only have five minutes, but I’ve been waiting for seven years,” Mayor Brian Loughmiller said.
The Sheraton anchors what is known as the Gateway site, which spans 91 acres and includes the higher education building and the headquarters of Emerson Process Management, a division of St. Louis-based technology company Emerson.
The complex also includes land belonging to the city, including the property where the Sheraton sits. After the original partnership collapsed, McKinney worked out an agreement with Champ Hospitality and The Beck Group in late 2012 to build the hotel.
As part of the deal, McKinney put up $20.5 million to bankroll the project and claimed ownership of the conference center. Aimbridge Hospitality will run the facilities.
The immediate financial gain for the city will come from tax revenue flowing from the hotel, but the Sheraton also will help attract businesses to the Gateway district, said assistant city managers Rob Daake and Barry Shelton.
As offices pop up, restaurants will too, the city hopes.
“We think we’re going to create some momentum out there,” Daake said.
Colleen Smith, interim president of Collin College, can see the Sheraton from her office at the higher education center, which opened in 2010. For years, people at the college referred to the hotel as “Stonehenge.”
Now the conference center and Sheraton restaurant will be assets to the college, Smith said.
“It helps all of us to be finished instead of looking like a construction zone,” she said.
The Sheraton’s other neighbor, Emerson Process Management, moved to the site in 2013. Many visitors stay at the Courtyard hotel 4 miles south in a major shopping and dining district in Allen, said Tammy Warren, an executive assistant at Emerson.
International guests usually don’t drive, so amenities within walking distance are important, Warren said. She expects that the Courtyard hotel will remain a preferred lodging choice until the Gateway site develops.
“We’re hoping to have an area similar to Allen,” Warren said.
McKinney and its partners reduced plans for the conference center from 43,000 to 20,000 square feet in 2013. The city considered scrapping the meeting space in light of several competing options in Collin County, but officials said hospitality experts advised against it.
The Gateway site was once conceived as a $200 million project with a 221-room Westin hotel, offices, shops and restaurants surrounding a lake. Financial and legal troubles saddled the developer and stalled construction months after it started in 2008.
In recent years, city officials have reimagined the site as a potential corporate district with amenities. Shelton said the city is negotiating with a master developer to build on the remaining 60 acres.
But the star of the project remains the 4-story hotel.
“Thank you guys for sticking with us,” Loughmiller told the city’s partners Thursday. “And to the Sheraton, welcome home.”
February 26, 2015