(Rendering courtesy of Wealth Hospitality Group)
Ground has been broken on a spectacular site overlooking the Deschutes River in Bend which will feature luxury condominiums and, in the future, a 4-star and 5-star hotel, complete with a rooftop bar, as part of a 7.6-acre mixed-use development off Century Drive with an estimated price tag north of $100 million.
Ridgeland, Mississippi-based developers Wealth Hospitality Group plan to roll out the project in three stages, starting with The Ridge consisting of 37 high-end condos across five four-story buildings, boasting pristine views from the river canyon rim, while subsequent phases will feature two upscale hotel franchises and commercial space.
The condominium segment first floor will have around 11,500 rentable square feet of commercial space available for lease in four of five condo buildings.
The property is comprised of three tax lots, including the currently operating Pine Ridge Inn site, as part of an acquisition in 2018 (facilitated by locally-based commercial broker Walt Ramage of NAI Cascades) and the reimagination has been in the works for over three years after a protracted planning and approvals process.
To be known as The Ridge at Bend, the $40 million condo first phase will be followed by construction of a 115-room 4-star Hyatt House hotel, while Phase III will showcase the only 5-star hotel East of the Cascade Mountains – from the Autograph by Marriott consisting of 115 rooms, complete with rooftop bar. There will also be an event space at the rear overlooking the river.
The Autograph Collection is a group of independently owned and operated upper-upscale to luxury hotels within the Marriott International portfolio. “Iconic” and “historic” are two words frequently used to describe each outpost, which take pride in maintaining originality and delivering first-class amenities at every one of its over 270 independent hotels, located in the most desirable destinations across more than 45 countries and territories.
Site plan approvals for the overall seven-building, 250,000-square-foot mixed-use Bend Village Resort development overlooking the Deschutes River near Farewell Bend Park, include a Class A Variance to the maximum setback, and an alternative street design for the pedestrian-friendly environment.
The northern area of the site, fronting Colorado Avenue, is currently developed with the Pine Ridge Inn, which will be demolished in phase III to make room for the Autograph brand hotel, with access from Mt. Bachelor Drive.
Bend is famously named for the journey of the Deschutes River as it changes direction on its northbound trajectory through Central Oregon, and it is at one of its most notable turning points — where the river makes a dramatic break to the east — that the new community has been chosen to come to life.
Wealth Hospitality leaders, who are active in the hotel, multifamily and retirement community sphere nationwide, say The Ridge condominiums will be “a destination where one may immerse themselves in natural luxury; where a vibrant social atmosphere harmonizes with its natural surroundings; and where all who come this way are destined to thrive.”
Subsequently, Hyatt House, Hyatt’s signature extended stay brand, will feature three-level parking, a pool and fitness facility, partial ground floor retail and offer guests “comfortable accommodations, homestyle amenities and a welcoming atmosphere.”
Meanwhile, The Autograph signature facility promises adventurous travelers a hospitality experience that embraces the outdoors — connecting to nature and to the community of Bend under the motto, “Elevated Views. Elevated Service.”
The project is being designed by PVFS Architects and Interiors out of Atlanta, Georgia, while Bend-based Wolf Construction & Development has been selected as the general contractor. Other local involvement includes civil engineering by Hickman Williams Associates (HWA), structural through Eclipse Engineering and landscape design by SZABO, all headquartered in Bend.
SZABO’s website highlights the development’s focus on a pedestrian experience by creating vibrant streetscapes, breakout plaza areas, overlook seating nooks, firepits, site furnishings and limiting vehicular circulation and on-street parking. The anchor hotels’ sites will also flank restaurants, event spaces and outdoor amenities at the ground level.
The complex partially runs along Mount Bachelor Drive, with some frontage on Reed Market Road near the Bill Healy Bridge. Buildings will range up to around 60 feet tall, with the hotels’ portion reaching five to six stories.
Wolf Construction Principal Scott Wolf, who estimated an approximate 16-month timeline for phase I of the project, said, “The condos have the advantage of being approved for vacation rentals which should widen their appeal.
“This kind of development also makes sense as Bend continues to grow as it can accommodate more units on a single site, which helps to avoid the sprawl associated with traditional expansive single-family subdivision developments. For its part, the City has worked on modifying zoning requirements to help encourage more creative density.
“I reached out to the developers when I heard about the plans, and I think where we shine is in being a value-driven firm that strives to deliver the best product to match the budget and help clients make projects work within desired criteria. As the old adage goes, we earn respect the old-fashioned way through hard work and we are excited to officially get underway
“This is an amazing site involving a detailed process by sophisticated clients who have put together significant funding and are fully committed to this project.
“For our part we undertake extensive value engineering to find the most cost-effective path and we have developed a specialism to some extent in collaborating with out-of-town developers who appreciate our approach, existing connections, local market knowledge and relationships with subcontractors and jurisdictions locally.
“We have already worked through a number of initial challenges including repricing several times as conditions have fluctuated, and coordinating with the state on power access relocation, which will also benefit adjacent property owners regarding potential future development.”
Erin Martin and Brian Ladd of the Ladd Group with Cascade Sotheby’s’ International Realty, in Bend, are the listing agents for The Ridge condominiums offering. Specializing in relocation, resort communities, luxury homes and investment properties, its group of brokers achieved over $200 million in real estate investments in 2021 alone, making it the top-producing real estate team in Central Oregon.
The developer behind the project, Wealth Hospitality Group, is known as a distinguished ownership, development, construction management and operations company nationwide.
It was formed in March 2020 through the merger of the principals’ prior companies, Heritage Hospitality & Fusion Hospitality, harnessing the unique synergy between development & management.
Wealth Hospitality combines the leadership of Bhupender “Bruce” Patel and Hiren “Chico” Patel: two industry veterans who came together to create a “next-level, next-generation hospitality company.”
As the former CEO/Managing Principal of Fusion Hospitality, Bruce Patel grew the company from a single motel in Tupelo, Mississippi to become one of the most prolific hospitality outfits in the eastern United States. Bruce was named Mississippi’s Small Businessperson of the Year in 2014.
Chico Patel was formerly the CEO of Heritage Hospitality Group: a dynamic hospitality company that partnered with several major hotel developers, operators and partners and developed a reputation for its dedication, hard work and high expectations that spanned the country, coast-to-coast.
With Chico being surrounded by the hospitality industry his entire life and by learning the ropes as a “hands-on” operator, he has become adept at constructing and operating profitable hotels that outperform the competition, with a wealth of knowledge and attention to detail that has driven hotel projects throughout the United States, including markets with high barriers to entry.
Chico has earned the support of top-tier brands including Hilton, Marriott, Hyatt and InterContinental Hotels Group (IHG).
Since entering the Central Oregon market, other Wealth Hospitality projects have included the new Home2 Suites Bend hotel off 27th Street and a Hampton Inn in Redmond, where they are also working on a Holiday Inn Express & Suites.