The City of Odessa, Eofficial Enterprises and Dallas-based Gatehouse Capital, broke ground on a seven-story, 218-room Marriott Hotel with a 67,500-square-foot conference center, a 365-space parking garage and a full-service Starbucks, and also revealed plans to refurbish the historic Ector Theater.

“We started this journey in the fall of 2014 and have spent the last two and a half years collaborating with the city, as well as Eofficial Enterprises to bring this project to life,” said Marty Collins, CEO of Gatehouse Capital. “This project will have a tremendous impact on Odessa and when finished, we will have built a best of class hotel and conference center for the [brand].”

Construction is expected to take approximately 18 months and will cost $79 million. The Gatehouse development team includes: general contractor UEB Builders, architect RTKL, hotel operator Aimbridge Hospitality, Marriott Hotels, structural engineer DCI and interior designer Duncan Miller Ullman.

“Sondra and Toby Eoff are native Odessans and are true corporate citizens who see this project as an opportunity to give back to Odessa in an economically productive way,” Collins said. “Odessa is a great city with a strong business community that is completely committed to the revitalization of downtown.”

Sondra and Toby Eoff with Eofficial Enterprises will invest $48 million in the multimillion-dollar project. City officials will spend $31.6 million that includes the hotel, conference center and parking garage.

Odessa, founded along the extension of the Texas and Pacific Railway in the late 1920s, is celebrating its 90th birthday this year. Odessa was thought to be named by the railroad workers who believed the region resembled their home in Odessa, Russia. Once a sleepy cowtown until the first oil wells began production, today Odessa has a thriving population and is among the fastest growing cities in Texas.

“We expect this project to create jobs and generate over twice its cost in direct and indirect benefit for the city with solid economic returns,” Collins said. “This is an outstanding example in [development].”

Founded in 1997, Gatehouse Capital is a national real estate investment and development firm that has launched major mixed-use lifestyle developments, including hotels from Hilton, Marriott and more.