by Parker Leavitt – Feb. 11, 2011
The Arizona Republic

In anticipation of a fall opening for the Banner MD Anderson Cancer Center in Gilbert, a Mesa-based developer plans to build an adjacent Marriott hotel to accommodate patients and families.

A four-story, 100-room Residence Inn by Marriott will tailor its services to meet the needs of patients, doctors and support vendors, said developer Paul Welker, CEO for Sunridge Properties, which builds Marriott and Holiday Inn franchises in Arizona, Utah and New Mexico.

The new Residence Inn will sit on 2.3 acres of a 12-acre site just south of Banner Gateway Medical Center, near Higley Road and the U.S. 60. The site could also someday be home to restaurants, a bank, a parking garage and a nursing facility, according to a preliminary development plan.

While designing the project, Sunridge representatives toured MD Anderson’s Houston headquarters on the campus of Texas Medical Center.

“They own their own hotel connected to their hospital,” Welker said.

The Rotary House, owned by MD Anderson and managed by Marriott International, offers patient orientation, clinic liaisons, family member support groups and some lab work.

Possible features for the new hotel include a concierge to help patients schedule treatment appointments, direct-dial phones connecting the hotel and cancer center and a medical library, Welker said. The hotel will also offer a pool, spa, fire pit and sport court, according to a report to the town Design Review Board.

The hotel will also feature certain extended-stay amenities such as full, high-tech kitchens, Welker said.

Sunridge has closed escrow on the property and is preparing to seek approval from the Design Review Board. The earliest it could obtain a permit would be late summer, and construction would likely begin in the third quarter, Welker said.

Read more: