Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Inc. (NYSE:HOT) last week announced plans for a dual-branded hotel development in Boston featuring its popular Aloft and Element brands. Set to open in 2016, the 330-room Aloft Boston Waterfront and 180-room Element Boston Waterfront will be situated on D Street, directly across the street from the Boston Convention & Exhibition Center. The hotels will be owned and developed by a partnership between majority equity partner Ares Management controlled funds and CV Properties on a 5.2 acre-parcel of land leased from the Massachusetts Convention Center Authority (MCCA).
Construction on the $158 million project is already underway and, upon completion, the hotels will be operated by Starwood Hotels & Resorts under the Aloft and Element brand flags. Financing will be provided by RBS Citizens Financial Group and Santander Bank in the amount of $97 million.
“We look forward to opening this dual-branded Aloft and Element hotel complex as part of the ongoing redevelopment of the South Boston Waterfront, the city’s fast-growing business and innovation district,” said Brian McGuinness, Senior Vice President of Specialty Select Brands for Starwood. “Recognized as an industry leader in the eco-space, Element promotes a life in balance with its emphasis on wellness and sustainability, while Aloft resonates with the next generation of travelers who appreciate its distinctive urban design, intuitive technologies and live music scene at the W XYZ Bar.”
“The addition of the Element and Aloft Boston Waterfront hotels on D Street will provide needed support to the BCEC and the entire South Boston Waterfront for its many business and leisure travelers,” said Boston Mayor Martin J. Walsh. “I look forward to celebrating the opening of these two new and modern properties, and congratulate the MCCA, CV Properties and Starwood on a successful collaboration.”
“These two highly-anticipated Starwood hotels will create 175 permanent jobs and 510 additional hotel rooms to help meet the rising demand for affordable, high-caliber lodging within walking distance of Boston Convention & Exhibition Center,” said James E. Rooney, MCCA Executive Director. “This is one of several projects underway that will help keep Boston in the list of top meetings and convention destinations in the world.”
“We are proud to collaborate with Starwood Hotels, the MCCA and Ares Management on this exciting, new hotel development that will offer two great new options for visitors to South Boston and the growing Innovation District,” said Richard Galvin, President of CV Properties.
“We are pleased to be building this significant project adjacent to the Boston Convention & Exhibition Center, continuing a pattern of investing in convention center hotels in gateway markets across the country,” said Lee Neibart, Co-Head of the Ares Real Estate Group. “We believe that Starwood’s Aloft and Element brands are an excellent fit for the project and are excited to be partnering with the MCCA, Starwood and CV Properties to bring this great development to the South Boston Waterfront.”
Catering to the next generation of travelers with loft-like rooms, accessible technologies and a line-up of innovative programming, Aloft Boston Waterfront will offer more than 10,000 square feet of state-of-the-art meeting space, a Splash pool, fitness center, and Re:fuel by Aloft – a one-stop grab & go food and beverage area. Guests will also enjoy free access to local emerging artists as well as some of the hottest bands with Live at Aloft Hotels programming at the W XYZ® bar.
Element Boston Waterfront will offer a fresh perspective on extended stay lodging, with light-filled studios featuring a fluid design, fully equipped kitchens and spa-inspired bathrooms. Facilities will include a fitness center, pool, and approximately 1,000 square feet of flexible meeting space. Guests can stay on the move with Element’s complimentary bikes to borrow and enjoy the brand’s signature RISE breakfast and RELAX evening reception. Consisting entirely of new-build hotels, Element is the first major hotel brand to mandate that all properties pursue the U.S. Green Building Council’s Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) certification for high-performance buildings.
The 13-story Aloft Boston Waterfront will be separated from the eight-story Element Boston Waterfront by a hotel drive that runs perpendicular to D Street and provides access to the porte-cochere of both hotels. The Aloft and Element will share a 120-space parking lot and each hotel will include more than 8,000 square feet of street-level retail and restaurant space.
“Both Aloft and Element have cultivated loyal fan bases with their distinctive positioning and clean, modern design, and are increasingly sought after to meet the needs of the next generation of travelers in major metropolitan cities, like Boston,” said Allison Reid, Senior Vice President, North America Development for Starwood Hotels & Resorts. “We are excited to work on this landmark project with the Massachusetts Convention Center Authority, CV Properties and Ares – all of whom share our passion for creating a world-class convention destination that will attract visitors from around the globe.”
Aloft and Element Boston Waterfront will be less than three miles from Logan International Airport and convenient to the Back Bay, the financial district, and leading downtown attractions including Quincy Market and Faneuil Hall. It will be the second Aloft-Element dual hotel development in the Boston area, joining Aloft and Element Lexington, which opened in 2008.
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