79-room hotel coming to Lacey

LACEY - Construction will begin next month on a Best Western Hotel in Lacey, a $6 million project that just might signal a turnaround in the South Sound economy.

The Grinnell Group of Vancouver, Wash., will start work about mid-February on a four-story, 47,000-square-foot Best Western/Atrea Hotel at 8326 Quinault Drive N.E., president Greg Grinnell said Thursday.

Construction could employ about 30 people, and the hotel is expected to open in 11 months, he said. The hotel will have 79 rooms, 1,300 square feet of meeting space, and an indoor swimming pool and spa, Grinnell said.

The hotel is a new prototype for Best Western called an Atrea. The building will have a contemporary exterior and arched trusses for the entryway, he said.

“It’s a nice, contemporary building with somewhat of an Asian feel to it,” Grinnell said. A spokesperson for Best Western could not be reached Thursday.

The hotel owners are Sang Jae Woo and Keum Woo of Olympia, a couple who owned the Best Western in Tumwater before selling it last year, Grinnell said. They, too, could not be reached.

The Woos have been working toward this project for some time, submitting a development proposal to Lacey’s Community Development Department in August 2008. They also own the property, according to Thurston County Assessor data.

Lacey’s recent growth has been a magnet for hotel chains, such as:

 • Candlewood Suites, a 60-room extended-stay hotel at 4440 Third Ave. S.E.

 • Holiday Inn Express, an 80-room hotel at 4460 Third Ave. S.E.

Also, a 107-room Marriott Fairfield Inn has been proposed for Hawks Prairie, north of Interstate 5.

The Candlewood Suites and Holiday Inn opened in 2007, and the Marriott proposal has received site-plan review approval from the city, Lacey associate planner Ryan Andrews has said. It was not clear Thursday whether the developers, Hall Equities Group of Walnut Creek, Calif., have sought building permits for the project.

Rolf Boone: 360-754-5403