ASIAN AMERICAN OWNED KB Hotels plans to develop a 4-story, 135-room upscale Cambria Hotel in Waco, Texas, along with three other projects in the city. The Cambria Hotel Waco University Riverfront overlooking the Brazos River is scheduled to open in 2020 and joins KB Hotels’ existing Waco property, the Hotel Indigo Waco-Baylor.
The Cambria will be on the corner of Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard and Bridge Street near Baylor University, the SpaceX testing facility, and Providence Health Center and L3 Technologies. Other nearby attractions include the Waco Mammoth National Monument, the Texas Sports Hall of Fame, and Magnolia Market at the Silos, home to HGTV Fixer Uppers hosts Joanna and Chip Gaines’ retail store and bakery.
“With local businesses helping to attract more than 30,000 visitors per week, demand for lodging in Waco is at an all-time high,” said KB Hotels President and CEO Kenny Bhakta.
Other amenities at the Cambria include spa-style bathrooms with Bluetooth mirrors, about 8,000 square feet of multi-function meeting space, including banquet, board and wine rooms. The hotel also will have a fitness center, outdoor patio, pool and courtyard.
Cambria is a Choice Hotels International brand. Choice has or plans to develop several other Cambria properties in Texas, including existing properties in Dallas, McAllen, Plano, and Southlake and developments planned in Austin and Houston.
“Waco, long anchored by academia and agriculture, is benefiting from a resurgence fueled by rising tourism and a growing technology sector, making it ideal for Cambria development,” said Mark Shalala, Choice Hotels’ vice president for franchise development of upscale brands.
KB Hotels acquired the property in March, along with an adjoining lot that will be the location of the management company’s planned Holiday Inn Express Waco Riverfront and an EVEN Hotel, both InterContinental Hotel Group brands. EVEN Hotels is a wellness oriented brand. The EVEN Hotel is set to open in 2020 while the Holiday Inn Express is scheduled to open in 2021.
KB Hotels also plans to build an Element Hotel in another part of Waco that also will open in 2020. It is developing a Holiday Inn Express in Blythe, California, as well.
Waco real estate agent Brad Harrell told the Waco Tribune at that time that his client, Union Pacific, had placed four lots at the location up for sale for $1.7 million, but only the two largest tracts were included in the final transaction.
“Union Pacific would not have agreed to have the site broken up had it not gotten a real good number,” Harrell told the Tribune.
KB Hotels is not releasing the purchase price of the property, said Managing Partner Meraj Bhakta.
Plans have been announced for at least seven other new hotels in Waco, according to the Tribune. Most of the city’s east side is part of a Tax Increment Financing Zone, meaning a portion of property taxes in the zone are used for improvements in the zone, according to the Tribune.