STAMFORD, Conn.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Inc. (NYSE: HOT) today announced the commencement of construction for its first-ever W and Element dual-branded hotel development, scheduled to open in the heart of downtown Philadelphia in early 2018. The 295-room W Philadelphia and 460-room Element Philadelphia will occupy a 51 story skyscraper located in the geographic center of the city’s business, arts and retail districts, and directly across from Philadelphia City Hall. Owned by Chestlen Development and developed by Vine Street Matthews Development, the highly-anticipated project will also boast panoramic city views and facilities include an outdoor pool bar and terrace, market-leading meeting and banquet facilities, exciting food and beverage outlets, and prime retail space along Chestnut Street.
“This exciting project will bring two popular Starwood brands to Philadelphia and provide much needed inventory to the City and Convention Center, attracting even more visitors and meetings business to our downtown,” said Philadelphia Mayor Michael A. Nutter. “The construction and operations of the new development will also have a significant economic impact on the City of Philadelphia and the surrounding region, creating numerous immediate and long-term jobs and generating substantial tax revenues.”
Brook Lenfest, Owner of Chestlen Development said, “This has been many years in the making and a true collaboration between ownership, our development partners, the City of Philadelphia, the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania and Starwood Hotels & Resorts. We’re excited to deliver this iconic project to the downtown market.”
“We have actively pursued this market for some time and look forward to the upcoming debut of both W and Element in Philadelphia as part of this dual-branded development, which will increase Starwood’s total portfolio in the city to 12 hotels across seven of our nine world-class brands,” said Allison Reid, Senior Vice President of North American Development for Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Inc. “Our innovative W Hotels brand provides contemporary luxury and insider access in key urban and exotic destinations worldwide, while Element Hotels is an industry-leader in the eco-space, offering stylish, sustainable extended stay lodging. These two unique and highly differentiated brands will offer guests a new experience not currently available in the Philadelphia market.”
Combined the W Philadelphia and Element Philadelphia can operate jointly as a 755 room headquarters hotel ideal for conventions and group business due to its direct views as well as short walking distance from both Suburban Station and the Broad Street entrance to the Pennsylvania Convention Center. Additionally, the property’s downtown location is proximate to leading city attractions such as the Avenue of the Arts, Independence Hall, Barnes Foundation, Liberty Bell, Mutter Museum, the Philadelphia Museum of Art, and the galleries, restaurants and boutiques along Walnut Street, Chestnut Street and Rittenhouse Row. Less than 10 miles from Philadelphia International Airport (PHL) and one block from the re-designed Dilworth Plaza.
“The $786 million expansion of the Pennsylvania Convention Center has transformed it into the largest contiguous exhibit space in the Northeast and generated increased demand for high-caliber lodging within walking distance,” said Jack Ferguson, President and CEO of the Philadelphia Convention & Visitors Bureau. “These two new Starwood hotels will supply additional downtown room inventory in close proximity to Pennsylvania Convention Center, which will encourage large-scale new business to select Philadelphia as their convention destination."
Guests will enter W Philadelphia via the hotel’s distinct entrance on Chestnut Street. The ground-floor will feature a signature W Living Room (the W brand’s take on the traditional hotel lobby) with a full bar and VIP room and a 150-seat destination restaurant. In addition, the hotel will feature a 2,900 square foot spa, 1,400 square foot FIT gym, and 7,000 square foot WET outdoor terrace with a year-round heated outdoor pool and destination bar, and 45,000 square feet of state-of-the-art meeting and event space for conventions, business meetings and social functions of all sizes. More than just a hotel brand, W Hotels is an innovative luxury lifestyle brand that connects global jetsetters and local tastemakers to the pulse of the next big thing. First introduced in 1998, W Hotels is a global design powerhouse with more than 46 hotels and retreats in the world’s most vibrant cities and exotic destinations.
The Element Philadelphia will feature a separate arrival lobby on Chestnut Street with elevator access to the main second floor lobby, which will feature a 1,400 square foot breakfast and lounge area, a 1,600 square foot fitness center and 560 square feet of branded meeting space. The hotel’s light-filled studios will offer a fluid design of modular furniture, fully equipped kitchens, and spa-inspired bathrooms will feature an invigorating rain shower and dual-flush toilet. Guests will be able to stay on the move with Element’s complimentary bikes to borrow program and enjoy the brand’s signature complimentary RISE breakfast and RELAX evening reception. On track to double its portfolio in the next two years, 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. It’s recognized as an industry leader in the eco-space and offers travelers a fresh, reimagined interpretation of the extended stay hotel experience.
About Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Inc.
Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Inc. is one of the leading hotel and leisure companies in the world with more than 1,200 properties in some 100 countries and over 180,000 employees at its owned and managed properties. Starwood is a fully integrated owner, operator and franchisor of hotels, resorts and residences with the following internationally renowned brands: St. Regis®, The Luxury Collection®, W®, Westin®, Le Méridien®, Sheraton®, Four Points® by Sheraton, Aloft®, Element® and the recently introduced Tribute Portfolio™. The Company boasts one of the industry’s leading loyalty programs, Starwood Preferred Guest (SPG®), allowing members to earn and redeem points for room stays, room upgrades and flights, with no blackout dates. Starwood recently announced plans to spin off its Starwood Vacation Ownership, Inc. business, a premier provider of world-class vacation experiences through villa-style resorts and privileged access to Starwood brands, into a standalone public company by the end of 2015. For more information, please visit www.starwoodhotels.com.
About W Hotels Worldwide
W Hotels is a contemporary, design-led luxury lifestyle brand and the industry innovator with 46 hotels and retreats, including 17 W-branded residences, in the most vibrant cities and exotic destinations around the world. Inspiring, iconic, innovative and influential, W Hotels provides the ultimate in insider access, offering a unique mix of cutting-edge design and passions around fashion, music and entertainment. W Hotels offers a holistic lifestyle experience that is integrated into the brand’s sensibility through contemporary restaurant concepts, glamorous entertainment experiences, stylish retail concepts, signature spas and inspiring residences. With 15 years of proven success, W Hotels is on track to reach more than 60 hotels by 2018. W Hotels have been announced for Amsterdam, Shanghai, Tel Aviv, Abu Dhabi, Dubai, Amman, Jakarta, Panama, Muscat, Suzhou, Changsha, Chengdu, New Delhi, Kuala Lumpur, Shenyang, Marrakech and Brisbane, while upcoming W Retreats include Goa, Phuket, Hainan Island and Mexico’s Riviera Maya. For more information, visit www.whotels.com, www.whotels.tumblr.com or www.facebook.com/whotels. To live the W Hotels lifestyle 24/7/365, visit www.wresidences.com. Follow @WHotels on Twitter and Instagram.
About Element Hotels
Element® Hotels is made to order for guests in the know and on the go. Its bright design defies convention, bathing guest rooms and public spaces in natural light. Stylish and sustainable throughout, Element offers extended stay comfort with a conscience and lots of signature amenities from its healthy RISE breakfast and RELAX evening reception to saline swimming pools, spacious fitness centers, bikes to borrow and electric vehicle charging stations. Starwood’s latest brand innovation, Element made history in 2008 as the only major hotel brand to pursue LEED certification for high-performance buildings brand-wide. To date, there are 17 Element Hotels worldwide, with 16 in North America and one in Europe with new domestic and international hotels in development. Visit www.ElementHotels.com or connect on Facebook.
About Chestlen Development, LP
Chestlen Development, LP (Chestlen) owns and controls the land and improvements located at 1441 Chestnut Street, Philadelphia, Pa. Chestlen’s general partner is Chestlen Development, LLC and its Managing Member is Brook Lenfest. As the Managing Member, Mr. Lenfest is involved in all primary decisions including but not limited to project finance strategy and implementation, exterior and interior design, vendor selection and all other key partnership related strategic decisions. www.chestlen.com
About VSM Development
Vine Street Matthews Development. (VSM) is a national real estate and development services firm owned and controlled by Jack Matthews and Jeffrey Cohen. The Corporation is engaged in the development and/or re-development of mixed use properties involving upscale hotels and branded residences in high barrier, urban and technology based markets. VSM offers its clients a full range of development services including but not limited to design building, construction management, landmark conversions, LEED Certified construction, value engineering, financial modeling and brand elevation. www.vsmdevelopment.com