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California boutique brand Ayres Hotels has broken ground on a 135-key property at the Millenia master-planned community in South San Diego County. With architecture by ACS Architectural Construction Services Inc. and landscape architecture by Village Green (both of which are based in Newport Beach), the hotel will feature what project participants describe as an urban-edge aesthetic. Ayres Group is serving as general contractor on the project.

Slated to open in about a year, the property will mark the family owned-and-operated brand’s second hotel in the county and 22nd hotel in the state’s southern and central regions. Plans include bars in the lobby and at the outdoor courtyard; a fitness center; three conference rooms; and a boardroom. The lobby will showcase a projection of noteworthy Olympic moments as a nod to the hotel’s location near the Chula Vista Elite Athlete Training Center, formerly known as the Olympic Training Center.

“Ayres Hotels is excited to become a part of the dynamic Millenia master plan,” says Bruce D’Eliscu, principal, Ayres Hotels of Southern California. “Ayres Hotels’ fresh urban perspective is a perfect complement to Millenia’s future as the strategic hub of the Cali Baja Bi-National Mega-Region. We are poised to take full advantage of future business growth and the strong South County economy.”

In conjunction with yesterday’s hotel ground breaking, San Diego-based developer Sudberry Properties started work on the 131,000-sq.-ft. Millenia Commons lifestyle center, which is slated to open late next year. That 12.5-acre complex will extend along both sides of Millenia Avenue on two separate parcels. Sudberry has tapped Andrew Hull Stevenson Architects and GroundLevel Landscape Architecture to design the project, with Hazard Construction handling the initial grading and infrastructure work. The developer says it’s currently in the process of selecting other participants.

Featuring a roster of retail concepts and restaurants and a design that emphasizes walkability and outdoor gathering spaces, the lifestyle center will reflect the modern, urban style of the overall Millenia master plan, project backers say. So far, the center has secured leases with HomeGoods, Cost Plus World Market, Ross Dress for Less, buybuy Baby, Mattress Firm, Hurricane Grill & Wings, Papagayos Grill & Cantina, Menchie’s Frozen Yogurt, Great Clips, Jamba Juice, McDonald’s and Pacific Dental Services.

Overall, plans for Millenia include 3,000 multifamily residences; 2 million sq. ft. of office space; 1.5 million sq. ft. of retail, hospitality, civic and mixed-use projects; and six parks, all woven together with a system of tree-lined promenades, bikeways and plazas.

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