Starwood and Marriott to open hotels in NoMad
Developer John Lam is in talks with both Starwood Hotels & Resorts and Marriott Hotels & Resorts for each to operate hotels in a new tower he is building on Broadway, between West 29th and West 30th streets. The new building will be in place of two existing adjacent commercial properties, located at 1205 and 1225 Broadway, that Mr. Lam acquired earlier this year. The proposed development, which will comprise of the hotels and retail space, can be more than 350,000 square feet, but Mr. Lam is still working on the design for the property. The two acquisitions were arranged by Robert Knakal, chairman of Massey Knakal Realty Services. "We're looking to break ground on the project in mid 2013," said Mr. Lam, adding that the project would cost around $300 million to build. Mr. Lam said he is close to signing deals with Starwood and Marriott. Starwood plans to open its mid-range boutique brand Aloft at the site, while Marriott plans to open a Renaissance, a high-end hotel brand. Each hotel would occupy separate portions of the building and manage their spaces individually. The project will create about 700 hotel rooms, 400 of which fall under the Renaissance brand and the remaining 300 under Aloft. Room rates will be roughly $500 a night at the Renaissance, and $300 to $400 a night at Aloft, according to Mr. Lam, whose development firm Lam Group has built several hotel properties across the city. The hotel market has been rising in the city and interest in building and investing in hotel properties has been stroked, particularly in the neighborhood north of Madison Square Park, popularly now known as NoMad. Mr. Lam's project is located in the area and will be just across the street from the Ace Hotel, a property that put the neighborhood on the map as a trendy destination when it opened in 2009. Since then other hip hotels, most notably the NoMad and the Gansevoort on Park Avenue South have opened. Earlier this week, Alfa Development acquired the Hotel Grand Union at 34 E. 32nd St., between Park and Madison avenues, in the same area for nearly $30 million. Michael Namer, chief executive of Alfa, said the neighborhood was attractive because it is so centrally located in the city and appealed to both tourists and the increasing numbers of residents and workers who are flocking to the popular neighborhood.
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