32-story tower with two Starwood hotels planned for downtown Austin

Apr 2, 2014
Austin American Statesman


White Lodging Services Corp. said today that it plans to build a hotel project in downtown Austin that would have two Starwood-brand hotels in a tower slated to rise 32 stories at Congress Avenue and Seventh Streets


In an exclusive, White Lodging Services Corp. told the American-Statesman that the project will feature Starwood’s upscale aloft and Element brands, with 410 rooms in all. White Lodging expects to start construction in December, with an anticipated summer 2016 opening, said Deno Yiankes, president and CEO of White Lodging’s investment and development division


The hotel would be built just south of the Stephen F. Austin Intercontinental Hotel, on a site that now has a parking lot and an adjacent two-story building with a sandwich shop


The hotel brands the project will feature are aimed at “younger, hip” business and lesiure travelers, Yiankes said. Amenities will include a full-service restaurant and an outdoor lounge area, similar to the Stephen F. Austin’s terrace across he street


White Lodging, a hotel development firm based in Indiana, currently has two hotels under construction in downtown Austin, a 17-story Westin at East Fifth Street and San Jacinto Boulevard and the 34-story JW Marriott convention center hotel on Congress between Second and Third streets, which will be Austin’s largest hotel and the largest JW Marriott in the U.S. to date. Several other hotels are under construction or planned for downtown, in a market experiencing strong hotel occupancy and rental rates


Yiankes said it was too soon to disclose an estimated cost of the Starwood project, noting a contractor hasn’t been selected yet. He declined to discuss financing except to say that White Lodging will be providing the equity for the project internally


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