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Marriott Hotel Planned for the Navy Yard in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Liberty Property Trust Working with Philadelphia Industrial Development Corp.
and Ensemble Hotel Partners to Get the Project Rolling

By Suzette Parmley, The Philadelphia InquirerMcClatchy-Tribune Regional News

Oct. 12, 2011--A new Marriott-brand hotel is headed to the Navy Yard, the latest in a string of recent developments and expansions planned for the complex.

Liberty Property Trust, a real estate investment trust with corporate headquarters in Malvern and a regional office in Center City, is close to completing the financing for the new hotel.

Since 2002, Liberty has worked closely with the Philadelphia Industrial Development Corp., the city's economic-development arm, to redevelop certain portions of the Navy Yard, including the Navy Yard Corporate Center and the Navy Yard Commerce Center.

The PIDC sent key members of the city's hospitality industry an e-mail Saturday inviting them to the Navy Yard for an announcement Thursday.

"We are delighted to invite you to attend the announcement of a new hotel to be built at the Navy Yard, which will serve the demand of this dynamic and growing mixed-use campus," read the e-mail from Anne Bovaird Nevins, senior vice president of market development at PIDC.

Mayor Nutter, representatives from Liberty Property Trust, Ensemble Hotel Partners, and Marriott are scheduled to make the announcement at 10:30 a.m. Thursday.

"I don't know much about the project yet," said Ed Grose, executive director of the Greater Philadelphia Hotel Association, "but it shows that the efforts to bring business to the Navy Yard has been successful."

Liberty Property Trust, one of the nation's largest publicly traded commercial and industrial REITs, is the current landlord for GlaxoSmithKline, Tastykake, and Iroko Pharmaceuticals at the Navy Yard.

In 2003, Liberty Property and the PIDC drew a master plan to redevelop the Navy Yard, and it has been used to guide development there since.

Urban Outfitters arrived six years ago to open its corporate headquarters at 5000 S. Broad St. in the historic core of the Navy Yard.

In early February, GlaxoSmithKline announced it had signed a 15-year lease for a new building to be developed by Liberty Property Trust and Synterra Partners at Five Crescent Drive in the Navy Yard Corporate Center. That building is under construction.

Iroko Pharmaceuticals announced last month that it was expanding its office at the Navy Yard. The expansion will allow Iroko to increase its workforce from 50 to more than 200 employees.

"We have been very pleased to commence several significant projects to the Navy Yard this year, including a new center for GlaxoSmithKline and new headquarters for Iroko Pharmaceuticals," said John Gattuso, senior vice president and regional director for Liberty Property Trust. "We expect that momentum to continue for the balance of the year."

The number of rooms for the hotel and its projected cost were not available. But a source close to the negotiations said Liberty sought bids over the summer to select a hotel developer to own the hotel at the Navy Yard Corporate Center.

The developer -- Ensemble Hotel Partners L.L.C of Long Beach, Calif. -- was selected a few months ago, while Marriott was chosen as the hotel flag. The financing for the project was still being finalized, according to the source.

The Navy Yard project follows other recent hotel announcements. Last month, the 268-room Hotel Monaco broke ground at Independence Mall in Old City. On Sept. 26, Mayor Nutter announced that a Hilton Home2 Suites Hotel with 246 suites was being proposed for the corner of 12th and Arch streets, diagonally across from the Pennsylvania Convention Center and Reading Terminal Market. PIDC is involved in the Hilton Home2 Suites project. Contact staff writer Suzette Parmley at 215-854-2594



(c)2011 The Philadelphia Inquirer

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