Author of www.HotelLawBlog.com
19 October 2006
Hotel mixed use developers should pay attention to two lead items today which I noticed in Hotel-Online and Hotel Business. Barry Sternlicht’s Starwood Capital has announced 5 new hotel mixed-use developments — launching a new hotel brand called “1” Hotel and Residences. At the same time, Hilton announced the Waldorf=Astoria branded Residences for its big hotel mixed-use project in Las Vegas. What are these developments about and what potential significance do they have?
“1” Hotel and Residences — A new brand for hotel mixed-use development
On October 18, 2006, Barry Sternlicht’s Starwood Capital Group announced the launching of “1” Hotel and Residences. The press release emphasizes that this will be the first luxury, eco-friendly global hotel brand. The concept promises to combine green construction and operating principles with impeccable service and luxurious comfort. “1” will demonstrate that green principles can coexist and enhance a luxury hospitality experience and healthy residential lifestyle.
The initial four properties in the United States will all be new construction. The first hotel will be the “1” Hotel and Residences Seattle expected to open in late 2008. Following Seattle, openings are planned for Mammoth Mountain, California, Scottsdale, Arizona, Ft. Lauderdale, Florida, and Paris, France. (Paris will be a renovation of a historic property). Within the next 12 months, Sternlicht expects that “1” will enter New York, Los Angeles, Washington, D.C. and other major urban markets, as well as premier resort destinations. The aim is to have 15 hotels signed or under construction within 24 months. The five hotels are owned by controlled affiliates of Starwood Capital Group Global, LLC.
What does this mean?
To us, this announcement continues to emphasize the importance of hotel-enhanced mixed-use. It shows another very astute financial, hotel and industry visionary seeing the value and future of creating lifestyle mixed-use projects ignited by the spark of high-quality, unique hotel experiences. “1” promises to appeal to those of us seeking luxury, environmentally friendly development and operation, innovative restaurant and food experiences with premier local chefs, and world-class spas featuring “unique treatments and programs for the revitalization of body and soul.”
Does this seem reminiscent of the lifestyle, hotel-enhanced mixed use projects that are becoming so dominant in the industry? Like the projects I have mentioned recently with Andre Agassi and Shaquille O’Neal, Paul Allen and Donald Trump? Like the last 80 hotel-enhanced mixed-use project that our Global Hospitality Group’s hotel attorneys have guided?
I think that it is more than a little remarkable that it is becoming difficult to look at any of the hotel trades, or hotel news services (such as hotel-online.com or hotelbusiness.com) and NOT find a news item that talks about hotel mixed-use – and typically with some significant “lifestyle” appeal.
I also think it is interesting that increasingly the lines of “condo hotels” are morphing into hotel condos or, more accurately, true hotel mixed-use.
Hilton’s Waldorf=Astoria Residences project in Las Vegas illustrates my point, but more on that in the next blog!
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