The Cordish Cos. purchases hotel near Maryland Live casino

Cordish will have two hotels – not just one – near its Maryland Live casino

The Cordish Cos. said Wednesday it has purchased a hotel in Hanover near its Maryland Live casino and rebranded it with the Baltimore-based developer's new "Live!" hotel marque.

Cordish is spending $3 million to renovate the former Hilton Garden Inn and Homewood Suites at 7491 New Ridge Road, across Route 100 from Arundel Mills mall, where the casino is located. The hotel, renamed Live! Lofts, is remaining open during the work.

"The customers went to bed under one brand and woke up under another," said Rob Norton, president of Maryland Live. "All the signs were replaced on the first day. They are all over."

The developer's announcement comes the week after it broke ground on the first Live-branded hotel. That 17-story, $200 million tower is to be located at the casino and is aimed largely as a perk for the casino's more than 1 million "rewards" members. Scheduled to open in late 2017 or early 2018, it will become become the tallest building in Anne Arundel County.

The former Hilton property is an 11-story hotel complex with 250 rooms, including more than 100 suites, and an indoor pool.

Terms of the acquisition from the Buccini/Pollin Group of Washington, D.C., were not disclosed. The property is valued at $27.1 million by the state for tax purposes.

Norton said Live! Lofts, too, will cater to frequent casino customers.

"We've got a little over a year before our hotel is ready. This will allow us to start serving our casino guests yesterday," he said. "We are planning to renovate the whole thing and turn it into a place with an eclectic elegance."

The hotel is in the Baltimore-Washington International Thurgood Marshall Airport corridor. Cordish said in a release that it will offer free shuttle transportation to the airport, area train stations and the casino.

While the hotel is aimed primarily at casino customers, Norton said it also could cater to airport travelers and non-casino customers, introducing them to the brand.

"It's not part of our core business plan but it's an exciting opportunity," he said.

The hotel will be the first of many featuring the "Live!" brand with an exclamation point. Others are slated for Philadelphia, in the stadium district, and Arlington, Texas.

The brand blends amenities with "a very live entertainment atmosphere," said David Cordish, the company's chairman.

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