BOULDER - Austin, Texas-based American Campus Communities Inc. (NYSE: ACC) closed last week on the $9.3 million purchase of the Boulder Outlook Hotel & Suites, helping to pave the way for redevelopment of the four-acre site.

In October, ACC redevelopment plans received unanimous site review approval from the city's planning board for a two-building, 100-unit apartment complex geared toward University of Colorado students just east of the main campus.

Chuck Carroll, vice president of development with ACC, said Monday that his company is going through the technical document review process with the city now. He said groundbreaking is anticipated for late this year or the first quarter of next year.

In the meantime, the Outlook will continue to operate.

ACC purchased the site from a local ownership group, Republic of Boulder Hotel Group LLC, which paid $5 million for the property in 2002. Dan King, a partner in that group, has formed a separate entity to continue operating the hotel for ACC.

King said he's booking reservations through November, but doesn't have a closing date nailed down yet, calling it a "rolling target."

King said the Republic of Boulder Hotel Group's intention always was to sell the property for redevelopment. He said developers were showing interest in 2008 "at numbers that made sense to us" before the economy went south.

"Then 2009 came along and all the money went away, so we had to wait awhile," King said.

ACC also owns the University Village at Boulder Creek Apartments at 2600 Taft Drive, and partnered with the University of Colorado on the Bear Creek Apartments at 3275 Apache Road near Williams Village.

The Outlook redevelopment is slated to include two four-story buildings with an open area in between with a pool and sand volleyball courts. A six-level wrapped parking garage, with two levels under ground, is also included in the plans, complete with a rooftop deck on top of the parking structure.

Carroll said the estimated cost of the project is still in flux as the group nails down final approvals with the city and hires a contractor.