|By Suzette Parmley, The Philadelphia
InquirerMcClatchy-Tribune Regional News
Sept. 15, 2012--The W Hotel proposed for 1441 Chestnut St. has secured all approvals to move forward, according to the hotel company and a construction-industry website that tracks such projects in the United States.
Construct-A-Lead, the online construction-projects database, reported earlier this week that the luxury hotel project was progressing and that "businesses interested in establishing early relationships and providing services relative to the project should visit construct-a-lead.com."
In the spring, construction is scheduled to begin on the 500-room hotel, which will offer a conference center, a pool and a fitness center among its amenities. Completion is set for January 2015.
The project secured a $400 million loan this week, according to the website, which provides information on all large-scale commercial construction projects in the United States to contractors, service providers, manufacturers, and related businesses.
Starwood Hotels and Resorts Worldwide Inc. is bringing the W Hotel brand to Center City on a half-acre surface parking lot that had been designated for a $420 million Waldorf-Astoria Hotel with luxury condos before the lending markets collapsed four years ago.
A slate of luxury boutique hotels has entered the Center City market in the last three years, among them the Kimpton-owned Palomar and Hotel Monaco (which opens Oct. 11) and the Le Meridien, another Starwood brand.
"We continue to believe Philadelphia would be a great market for our leading global brands and are committed to actively working with Chestlen Development to bring this much-needed new-build hotel project to the city," Trey Sarten, spokesman for W Hotels Worldwide and Le Meridien, said Friday.
The W would be just the third city hotel built from the ground up in recent years. Financing for new hotels remains tight because of stingy lending markets and the high costs associated with building in an urban area.
A Home2Suites by Hilton broke ground at 12th and Arch Streets across from the Pennsylvania Convention Center in April, and a $50 million Homewood Suites by Hilton debuted in University City on Aug. 1.
Said Jim Gratton, president of the 87-member Greater Philadelphia Hotel Association: "The W brand is known for being very hip, fresh and stylish. It has a customer base that hopefully will travel to Philadelphia for an experience, and the hotel will provide more availability for citywide conventions." Contact Suzette Parmley at 215-854-2855 or email@example.com.
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