May 27, 2016 11:43 AM

Two new hotels in Kaliste Saloom/Ambassador area hitting market as occupancy rates are falling.

TownPlace Suites is under construction behind Walk-On's on Kaliste Saloom Road.
Photo by Leslie Turk

Just as Home2 Suites in Parc Lafayette preps for a July opening, another hotel is under construction right down the road in the bustling Kaliste Saloom Road/Ambassador Caffery Parkway corridor. Tucked behind Walk-On’s Bistreaux & Bar on Kaliste Saloom Road is a new Marriott TownPlace Suites, a 61,600-square-foot, 102-room hotel.

TownPlace is locating at 119 Lake Farm Road, an address not yet recorded in the Lafayette Parish Tax Assessor’s Office’s records. Courthouse records indicate the property was purchased in October from Pine Farm Ltd. Partnership (the Saloom family) by Lafayette Lake Lodging LLC, whose officer is Yogesh Patel of New Orleans. Patel’s company paid $1.2 million for 1.77 acres, records show.

Questions emailed Thursday afternoon to Covington-based My Hospitality, a hotel construction, development and management firm listed on a sign at the site, were not immediately answered. The same sign indicates the hotel plans to open in the first quarter of next year.

Home2 Suites in Parc Lafayette will open later this summer.
Photo by Robin May

Home2 Suites, which had hoped to open last fall, is a Hilton product.

Both Home2 and TownPlace are mid-scale, extended stay hotels with full-sized kitchens. Home2Suites General Manager Ben Roberts tells ABiz the fire marshal’s office nixed the hotel’s plans for a stove-oven combo, because codes call for a hood system to provide exhaust for grease vapors, so each room will instead feature a convection microwave. Presumably TownPlace will be forced to make a similar change.

"The positive side to it is that we will have two full-sized barbecue grills by the pool," Roberts says. "Also, by not having cooking facilities in the rooms will allow our staff to more easily recommend all of the great new restaurants that are developing in that area of Lafayette."

Both products are coming online at a time when hotel occupancy and associated tax generation are taking a hit, largely due to the impact of falling oil prices. Year-to-date tax receipts (January-March) from Lafayette Parish hotels are down 9 percent compared with last year, falling from $20.9 million to $19 million, according to figures provided by the Lafayette Economic Development Authority. The occupancy rate is likewise down 6.6 percent, from 54.7 percent to 51.1 percent, while the average daily rate has held steady at about $76. LEDA’s numbers show that there are currently 89 hotels in the parish.

Hotel-motel tax receipts in the parish fell 5 percent from 2014-1015.

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