W HOTELS TO HEADLINE MUSIC, RETAIL, RESIDENTIAL
DEVELOPMENT IN LONE STAR CAPITAL
W Austin Hotel & Residences to Feature New Music Venue for 'Austin City Limits'
New York, NY, December 04, 2006
– W Hotels Worldwide, the world's fastest-growing luxury hotel brand, today announced its plans to open W Austin Hotel & Residences in the Live Music Capital of the World, a project featuring approximately 250 guestrooms and 200 residential condominiums that will serve as an anchor for the City of Austin's vibrant Second Street District.
The unique mixed-use development will be located on Block 21, an entire city block at the heart of the Second Street District and will star the new home of the world-famous "Austin City Limits" public television music show in a 2,000-seat live music and event venue. Also planned for Block 21 is the new location of Austin Children's Museum as well as approximately 25,000 square feet of retail and restaurant uses and extensive outdoor space.
Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Inc. (NYSE:HOT), the parent company of W Hotels, has entered into a management agreement with Austin-based Stratus Properties Inc. (NASDAQ:STRS) to manage the hotel, which is expected to open in early 2010 along with the residences.
"Austin, with its exceptional music scene, thriving creative and high tech community and the energy and vitality of the University of Texas, has long been on W's short list of sites," said Ross Klein, President of W Hotels Worldwide. "Our quest for the perfect address in Austin has been rewarded with this unique location at the center of Austin's highly successful Second Street District. This neighborhood is now the hub of Austin's downtown and continues to attract new restaurants, retail, office and residential projects; we’re thrilled to do our part to attract folks downtown, whether to live, visit, work or play."
"We are extremely pleased to have the W Hotel anchor Block 21," said Beau Armstrong, president of Stratus Properties Inc. "The collaboration between W Hotels, Austin PBS station KLRU-TV, the Austin Children's Museum, and the City has been remarkable and will make for a wonderful project to complement the new City Hall, the planned $90 million central library, and existing and planned uses within the Second Street District. Block 21 will set a new standard for green building. Sustainable design, construction and operations will be the hallmark of our project. We will push the envelope to create a healthy environment for our residents and guests and for our community."
"We are very excited to be a part of Block 21," said Bill Stotesbery, CEO and general manager of KLRU-TV, producer of "Austin City Limits" throughout its 32 seasons on the air. "The Stratus vision for Block 21 is to create an anchor destination for downtown Austin, one that reflects the cultural spirit and diverse interests of Austinites of all ages. The Austin City Limits Studio Theater is ideally suited for this vision, and we could not hope for a better team to make this a reality than Stratus, Austin Children's Museum, and especially the W Hotel, whose brand stands for quality, just like ACL."
Austin Children's Museum plans a 30,000 square-foot state-of-the-art facility. "The Austin Children's Museum location in Block 21 will provide a great place for Austin families in the heart of downtown," said Mike Nellis, executive director of the museum. "We are so pleased to be part of this forward-looking project with our new neighbors, the W Hotel and 'Austin City Limits'."
W Austin Hotel & Residences will feature all of the brand's celebrated comforts including its signature Living Room experience and Whatever/Whenever®, the hotel's 24-hour concierge service that can provide whatever guests want (from a pair of running shoes at 2 a.m. to private jet service) whenever they want it. Other highlights of the property will be several innovative restaurants and clubs, a street-level plaza, an outdoor elevated garden incorporating a swimming pool, a full-service Sweat fitness facility, a 7,000 square foot Bliss® Spa, and extensive indoor and outdoor meeting and banquet space.
Owners of W Austin Residences will have full use of all the hotel's facilities as well as access to 24-hour room service, daily housekeeping service and concierge services. A sales center including a model residential unit is expected to open in late summer 2007.
About W® Hotels
Since its debut in 1998, W Hotels has been a favorite of guests and developers alike and today is a global lifestyle brand with 21 properties in the most vibrant cities around the world. . Inspiring and indulging its guests with thoughtful, refreshing and stylish experiences, signature restaurants, bars and destination spas, W has become the fastest growing luxury hotel brand in the world. Each hotel offers a unique mix of innovative design, comfort and cultural influences from fashion to music to art and everything in between. The latest openings include W Dallas in June of 2006, W's first property in Asia, W Seoul - Walkerhill, which opened in August of 2004 and its first property in Canada, W Montreal, in October of 2004. Residence properties, offering the W lifestyle at home, have been announced for Dallas, Fort Lauderdale, Scottsdale and Hoboken. In addition, there are more than a dozen W Hotels in the development pipeline in city and resort destinations. For more information, visit www.whotels.com
About Starwood Hotels & Resorts
Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Inc. is one of the leading hotel and leisure companies in the world with approximately 850 properties in more than 95 countries and 145,000 employees at its owned and managed properties. Starwood® Hotels is a fully integrated owner, operator and franchisor of hotels and resorts with the following internationally renowned brands: St. Regis®, The Luxury Collection®, Sheraton®, Westin®, Four Points® by Sheraton, W®, Le Méridien and the recently announced AloftSM and ElementSM. Starwood Hotels also owns Starwood Vacation Ownership, Inc., one of the premier developers and operators of high quality vacation interval ownership resorts. For more information, please visit www.starwoodhotels.com
Article Publish Date : 12/04/2006