Mitch Patel, president and CEO of Vision Hospitality Group, stands in the almost finished reception area in his new 13,000 square-foot office.

Vision Hospitality adds Hampton Inn in Decatur

Vision Hospitality Group, Inc., has started construction of a six-story Hampton Inn & Suites by Hilton in Decatur, Ga., — one of eight Vision hotels either in development or operation in the Atlanta market.

The 145-room hotel, scheduled to open in the spring of 2017, will include an indoor saltwater swimming pool, meeting space, a 24-hour business center and a fitness center.

"We are excited to be expanding in Atlanta's growing market," Vision President & CEO Mitch Patel said. "Our company values our ongoing partnership with Hilton and the opportunity to develop one of the best hotel brands available today.

The Chattanooga-based Vision currently has 18 hotels under development, which includes three others in the Atlanta metro area and the company's first luxury boutique hotel project, The Edwin Hotel, in downtown Chattanooga.

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Kephart named sales manager at the Chattanoogan Hotel

The Chattanoogan hotel, a Benchmark Hotel, has hired Michele Kephart as the property's new sales manager. Kephart is responsible for group and day meeting experiences for Chattanooga-area businesses at The Chattanoogan. The upscale hotel is the only International Association of Conference Centers (IACC) certified property in Chattanooga, featuring a 25,000 square-foot conference center with a high-tech learning environment and comprehensive meeting planning and audiovisual support services.

Kephart was most recently the director of marketing for Bluff View Art District in Chattanooga. She served in that role for more than six years and oversaw the marketing and sales initiatives for Bluff View's restaurants, galleries, catering and meeting facilities.

Before moving to Chattanooga in 2006, the California native managed her own full-service advertising and design agency, Trahpek Advertising, for more than nine years. Kephart also served as the creative manager for Hobbs/Herder Advertising, a full-service advertising firm that specializes in the real estate and financial industries.

Kephart graduated from California State University in Chico.

CBL joins with Horizon for Texas shopping center

CBL & Associates Properties, Inc. has formed a joint venture with Horizon Group Properties, Inc. to develop The Outlet Shoppes at Laredo in Laredo, Tex.

CBL will own 65 percent of the 358,000-square-foot project, which is projected to create more than 1,200 new jobs and 1,500 seasonal jobs for the community and generate more than $134 million in annual sales.

The project is currently under construction with a grand opening slated for spring 2017. CBL said the center is already 80 percent leased with offerings that include Michael Kors, Brooks Brothers, Banana Republic, Abercrombie & Fitch and TommyHilfiger, among others.

"CBL has a strong presence and solid reputation in the Laredo market as the owner of Mall del Norte," CBL CEO Stephen Lebovitz said. "The Outlet Shoppes at Laredo will complement the higher-end shopping experience available at Mall del Norte and further solidifies our commitment to this area."