U-T San Diego Boosts Commitment to North County With New Encinitas Newspaper

U-T San Diego Boosts Commitment to North County With New Encinitas Newspaper

Encinitas Advocate to Carry on Tradition of Local, Award Winning Community Papers

SAN DIEGO, CA, June 19, 2014 – In an effort to meet reader and local business needs, U-T Community Press is launching a new newspaper in Encinitas – one of the region’s most beloved coastal communities – on Friday, June 20. The free weekly, The Encinitas Advocate, will cover everything from city hall to city services, local neighborhoods, families, arts, entertainment, and dining, as well as happenings in the communities of New and Old Encinitas, Cardiff-by-the-Sea, Leucadia and Olivenhain. The community newspaper will be delivered to Encinitas residents every Friday and also available at local newsstands and newspaper racks.

“Community newspapers are the foundation of American journalism,” said U-T San Diego Chairman and Publisher Papa Doug Manchester. “The U-T is committed to North County and we want the Encinitas Advocate to be the voice of the Encinitas community. By expanding our community newspapers, we hope to boost the local economy and bring neighbors even closer together.”

The Encinitas Advocate joins the U-T San Diego’s award-winning community newspapers, including the La Jolla Light, Del Mar Times, Rancho Santa Fe Review, Carmel Valley News, Solana Beach Sun, Poway News Chieftain, Rancho Bernardo News Journal and Ramona Sentinel.

“We at the U-T Community Press are very excited to be launching The Encinitas Advocate for this treasured coastal North County community,” said Phyllis Pfeiffer, the newspaper group’s general manager. “For several years, local businesses have encouraged us to expand our model of publishing hyper-local news that is delivered to all residents. We hope to not only keep local residents informed on what’s happening in their community, but to also help create cherished memories.”

The Encinitas Advocate staff will include executive editor Lorine Flemons-Wright, associate editor Jared Whitlock, as well as the North Coastal News team – Karen Billing, Kristina Houck, Joe Tash, Marsh Sutton, Jon Clark, and Rob and Sherry McKenzie.

About the U-T San Diego

The San Diego Union-Tribune, LLC, owner of the 145-year-old U-T San Diego, is San Diego’s leading media company and is the most comprehensive source of news, entertainment and information in the region. Each week, U-T San Diego products are delivered to more than 96 percent of all San Diego County households through the combined strength of its integrated media portfolio: the Pulitzer Prize-winning newspaper, U-T San Diego; the website, UTSanDiego.com; the Night + Day, Sunday’s Best and DiscoverSD weekly entertainment guide and website, DiscoverSD.com; Spanish-language products, Enlace and Vida Latina-San Diego; U-T TV, an on-demand news video platform; and hyper-local community papers, U-T Community Press.

Manchester Awards $247 Million Construction Contract

Hunt Construction Group selected to spearhead construction of Fairmont Austin hotel

Austin, Texas (March 19, 2014) – The developer of the Fairmont Austin hotel has selected Hunt Construction Group as the project’s construction firm.

Manchester Texas Financial Group LLC (MTFG), the developer of the hotel, notes Hunt Construction Group is the same firm that was successfully contracted for two other large projects its parent company’s developed in San Diego. MTFG, based in Austin, is a subsidiary of San Diego-based hotel industry powerhouse Manchester Financial Group. Hunt Construction Group’s relationship with Manchester Financial Group dates back to 1982, when it constructed the 1,360 room San Diego Marriott Marquis Hotel and Marina. Hunt Construction also participated in the construction of the 1,630 room Manchester Grand Hyatt San Diego, the world’s second largest Hyatt hotel.

Hunt Construction Group has been awarded a $247 million contract for its role in the upcoming Fairmont Austin. Construction is anticipated to take 32 months to complete. For more than four decades, Hunt Construction Group has been providing construction services for the hotel industry nationwide that includes over 60 specific projects totaling more than $6.5 billion.

“Trust means a great deal to our family, and our successful history with the Hunt Construction Group gives us great confidence in the firm’s ability to once-again deliver an outstanding hotel,” said Douglas F. Manchester, founder and chairman of Manchester Financial Group.

The $370 million Fairmont Austin is slated to feature more than 1,000 rooms, stand 47 stories tall and showcase an “aerial promenade” providing a direct connection for its patrons into the Austin Convention Center. The site is located at the Northeast corner of Cesar Chavez and Red River Streets – just across the street from the Austin Convention Center.

“Hunt is all about building lasting relationships and is excited to continue a long-established relationship with Manchester Financial Group,” said R.G. Hunt, president and CEO of Hunt Construction Group.

Douglas W. Manchester, president of MTFG, the project’s developer, said: “Given our long-standing relationship with Hunt Construction Group and the firm’s excellent track record in developing two outstanding, convention hotels for us in San Diego, we feel confident the same team will produce an exceptional hotel here in Austin as well.”

He notes all aspects of the Fairmont Austin are being designed to embody Austin in an authentic, upscale way.

Manchester Signs $247M Deal To Build Austin Hotel

U-T San Diego Publisher “Papa” Doug Manchester, whose development company three decades ago built San Diego’s first major convention hotel, on Wednesday inked a nearly $247 million contract to construct a 47-story convention hotel in Austin, Texas.

Construction on the 1,054-room Fairmont Austin, which will be linked to the Austin center via a skybridge, is expected to get under way by September, said Manchester. Developing the hotel is Manchester Texas Financial Group, a subsidiary of San Diego-based Manchester Financial Group.

Constructing the project is Hunt Construction Group, which also worked with Manchester on building the San Diego Marriott Marquis & Marina in 1984 and the Manchester Grand Hyatt nearly a decade later. The total cost of the hotel development, which already has all its necessary approvals, is $370 million.

The project comes at a time when Austin is enjoying healthy growth and its downtown area is in need of convention lodging, Manchester said. Already under construction is the JW Marriott, a 1,000-room downtown hotel expected to open next year.

“The Fairmont Austin will be the premier hotel, in my opinion, in Austin, and it will have the only direct connection to the convention center, so I believe it will be the headquarters hotel for the citywide conventions that take place there,” said Manchester, whose son Douglas Manchester is overseeing the project. “It will allow for citywide conventions to take place, but right now Austin is having a very difficult time doing citywides because of the lack of megahotels.”

At 560 feet tall, the Austin hotel will be the city’s second-tallest high-rise. Manchester, whose company is finalizing documents for the project’s financing, believes that once the hotel is completed, it will have a value of roughly $500 million.

He sold the 1,625-room Manchester Grand Hyatt in downtown San Diego in 2011 for $570 million.

Hunt Construction Group Chairman Robert Hunt recalled when he first started working with Manchester years ago at a time when Manchester was just getting started on redeveloping San Diego’s waterfront.

“Now there’s Doug again, taking that same vision he had years ago in the 1980s for San Diego,” Hunt said. “It’s so exciting to come full circle and do more together.”

Manchester said he’s so passionate about Austin’s continued growth that he is looking at future opportunities to do additional hotel, office and residential development.

Meanwhile, he is hoping his proposed $1.2 billion plan to redevelop the foot of Broadway in San Diego into a hotel-retail complex can move forward later this year once litigation by the California Coastal Commission is resolved. The coastal agency last year sued the Navy and Manchester after waiting more than a year for the Navy to revise its plans, which the commission considered out of date in light of downtown’s development changes in recent years.

Manchester Financial also has plans for a $200 million, mixed-use San Diego project that would be developed alongside the existing U-T San Diego Mission Valley building.

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[Source: UTSanDiego.com ]