Photo (from left): Ray Herman, President Herman/Stewart Construction; Matthew Brown, Senior Project Engineer, Geo Technology Associates; Jim Stapleton, AIA, Vice President, FRCH Design Worldwide; Jim Cornelsen, President, Old Line Bank; Dawn Koenig, Vice President Brand Performance Support, Homewood Suites and Home2 Suites by Hilton; Brian Norris, Chief Operating Officer, Cherry Cove Hospitality; Harry Weitzel, Chief Finance Officer, Cherry Cove Hospitality; Delegate John Bohanan, Maryland House of Delegates, District 29B; Francis "Jack" Russell, President, St. Mary's County Board of Commissioners; Thomas Mattingly, St. Mary's County Board of Commissioners, Commissioner; Jonathan Blasco, Engineer, Mehaffey & Assoc.
McLEAN, Va.—While the first Home2 Suites by Hilton is scheduled to debut in Fayetteville, N.C., in January, the brand continued to break ground on new properties, announcing it will build its first Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED)-certified hotel in Lexington Park, Md. As the brand’s fifth U.S. property to break ground, this will also be the first LEED-certified hotel in Southern Maryland.
The new Home2 Suites, a mid-tier, extended-stay hotel targeting budget-conscious business and leisure travelers, will be located at 46025 Valley Drive, Lexington Park, Md. Scheduled for completion in Q1 2012, the 100-suite, four-story hotel will be owned by Lexington Park Hotel Partners III and managed by Cherry Cove Hospitality Management LLC. The hotel will be constructed by Herman/Stewart Construction of Lanham, Md. The construction and permanent financing is being provided by Old Line Bank, headquartered in Bowie, Md.
The new property is aiming for a silver level of LEED accreditation. Developed by the U.S. Green Building Council, LEED is an internationally recognized green building certification system, providing third-party verification that a building was designed and built using strategies intended to improve performance in metrics. There are four different levels of building certification, based on a point system focused on six main categories: sustainable sites, water efficiency, energy and atmosphere, materials and resources, quality internal environment and innovation and design.
Even without LEED certification, Home2 Suites was developed with a specific commitment to sustainability, according to Hilton Worldwide. Appointments will include low-flow showers and faucets, CFL light bulbs, dual-flush toilets, recycled flooring, saline pools, Energy Star appliances, and carpet, material and surfaces made from recycled product and other sustainable product selections. Hotels will also use real dishes, glasses, and mugs instead of disposable place settings, and landscaping will feature indigenous plants, which significantly minimizes water usage and irrigation needs.
“The prototype for Home2 Suites already gets owners pretty close to LEED certification,” Brian Norris, chief operating officer for Cherry Cove Hospitality, said in announcing the ground breaking. “The building is designed to be naturally economically competitive. We’re proud to be the first LEED-certified property for Home2 Suites, as we know more and more consumers are paying attention to ‘going green’ when they stay in a hotel. This provides a socially responsible extended-stay option for those who want to do their part for the environment. It gives them just one more reason to choose Home2 Suites.”
In addition to the sustainability practices and products already put into place, the Lexington Park location plans to move into LEED-certifiable territory on these merits:
- An energy model that is projected to save 32 percent in annual energy costs
- Storm Water controls to absorb rainwater back into the ground, rather than running directly to the Chesapeake Bay ecosystem.
- An automated pool cover to retain energy and chemicals when the pool is closed
- Hotel’s size in relation to site size
- Close proximity to bike routes and easy public access
Underground parking area that will help reduce the impervious footprint of the facility and its Heat Island effect
Homes2 Suites executives joined with community leaders in Lexington Park at Friday's groundbreaking ceremony to celebrate the milestone. One hundred potted Eastern White pine tree saplings, tagged with the message, ‘Home2 Suites, watch us grow’ were given to everyone in attendance.
“Home2 Suites is a product that offers style and comfort, but possibly the most important aspect of the brand and what I’m proudest of, is its commitment to sustainability,” Bill Duncan, global head for Home2 Suites, said in the announcement. “This is an exciting milestone for the brand and will be a nice addition to the Lexington Park community.”
As a part of Hilton Worldwide, Home2 Suites is currently rolling out the company’s proprietary LightStay system. By Dec. 31, 2011, all 3,600 properties within Hilton Worldwide’s global portfolio of brands will use LightStay, which measures energy and water use and waste and carbon output at Hilton Worldwide properties around the globe. The company says it saved more than $29 million in utility costs in 2009 and the reductions conserved enough energy to power 5,700 homes for a year and reduce carbon output equivalent to taking 34,865 cars off the road.
The brand’s approach to extended-stay travel emphasizes comfort and flexibility, easy access to technology, community space and a unique design. Research shows that guests in extended-stay situations seek community and connection with others after several days, even if it means they are all singularly working among others in a common space. Based on that research, Home2 Suites properties feature an open lobby area with 4,200 square feet of space called the Oasis. The Oasis is a community space that includes communal and individual work zones, wireless access, 52-inch flat-screen TV and a complimentary breakfast service area that provides one of the most expansive continental breakfasts in this segment of the hospitality industry. The “Inspired Table” breakfast offers a wide variety of continental and customizable breakfast options, including select hot items. The variety, which includes breads, pastries, hot and cold cereals, and unique toppings, is such that a guest could have a different breakfast each day for 70 days without repeating, the company says.
All guest suites include the proprietary Home2 Suites “working wall” that incorporates the kitchen and flexible working space connecting separate living and bedroom zones. A fully accessorized kitchen contains a refrigerator/freezer with icemaker, dishwasher, place settings for six, microwave oven and coffee maker. The media/working zone includes queen size sofa/sleeper, 42-inch flat screen TV, roll-around ottoman, ambient task lighting, iHome alarm clock with iPod port and MP3 jack, and various pieces of furniture which can be moved around to create customized living spaces and adjustable storage options. Other highlights of the Home2 Suites brand are the Home2 MKT for grab-and-go items, an integrated guest laundry and fitness room, a saline pool, patios with grills, outdoor seating areas and an exercise trail.
Hilton Worldwide says there are approximately 75 Home2 Suites planned and another 30 in the development stage.