Thursday, July 13, 2006

Starwood strikes back

When news came last month that Starwood was planning to locate one of their new Aloft Hotels at the Philadelphia Airport instead of in Center City, we were befuddled at their stupidity. And understandably so.

There’s no news on the Aloft front but it turns out Starwood has more plans for Philly.

Yesterday Starwood pulled their head at least half-way out of their ass with the announcemount of a new W Hotel & Residences to be developed at 1200 Arch Street. [pictured at right is an old rendering]
Basic deets: 250-room hotel, 95 condominium/residences, across from the Reading Terminal Market and the Convention Center, scheduled to open in ’09.
La-de-fricking-da. It’s great news and all but 2009? They must’ve heard about our unions.

In all seriousness, we are glad this is finally happening. As we’ve said before, we really don’t understand why there hasn’t been a boutique hotel/condominium mash-up in Center City earlier. (In the past decade — the Rittenhouse Hotel doesn’t count.) The condo boom and the dearth of hip hotels just seemed to lend itself, well, perfectly to the prospect of this type of development. Call us crazy…

Anyway, Starwood is apparently saying that their W Hotel brand is deserving of a Center City address, while their Aloft Hotel brand still only measures up to an Airport stay. We don’t quite figure and, again, emphasize that Ted Darnell and the Starwood Real Estate Group should relocate their planned Philadelphia Aloft from the Airport to Center City.

As far as local developers fare, Joe Zuritsky (Parkway) beat out Wayne Spilove. Bully for Joe. There's no love lost between us and Wayne.

Or between us and Joe for that matter. The fact that Joe operates city-killing surface parking lots in Center City makes us pretty much despise the man right off the bat. This development, however, coupled with 1701 Rittenhouse (complete with its hot, robotic underground parking system), which are both going up where Parkway surface parking lots currently reside, at least shows that Joe will give up his lots if you offer him enough cash.

Which is better than nothing.

Wow. You said it. That’s a really fucking awesome lead. No cliché in sight. [Businesswire]
Hotel Hotwire: More on Starwood’s plans for Philly
What’s next for Starr? Toppling Starwood?

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