Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Inc. has announced that it will be looking into a redevelopment plan for the 665-room Sheraton Manhattan at Times Square in New York City.The company is exploring a variety of options to maximize the long-term value of this significant asset which occupies 395,000 sq ft of real estate, covering a full city block, bounded by Broadway, Seventh Avenue and 51st and 52nd Street near Times Square.
The redevelopment plans will include a hotel flying one of Starwood’s brand flags, in possible combination with retail and office uses. Given the hotel’s incomparable footprint, Starwood has received considerable interest from investors and developers to partner on the project and the company has assembled a project team to assist in evaluating a full range of options and partners over the coming months.
As the hotel is redeveloped, Starwood will remove the Sheraton flag and operate the hotel as a non-branded Starwood property beginning in April. The hotel will remain open as the company finalises redevelopment plans, and will continue to be a member of the Starwood Preferred Guest loyalty program. Starwood made the decision to operate the hotel as an independent because the hotel does not currently meet the upgraded standards of the Sheraton brand, which is culminating a three-year, $6bn global overhaul. As part of the revitalisation of Sheraton, Starwood’s largest and most global hotel brand, the brand has removed 32 “off brand” hotels in order to improve its quality and consistency, and reflect a significantly enhanced guest experience.
The redevelopment of the Sheraton Manhattan is illustrative of Starwood’s bullish growth plans in New York City. Starwood has more hotels in New York City than anywhere in the world and currently operates 13 hotels here with plans to open six more in 2010, including two new high-profile Sheraton properties in Brooklyn and Tribeca, the W New York Downtown and the Four Points by Sheraton Long Island City. In addition, the global hotel giant will debut its two newest brands in the Big Apple with the openings of Aloft New York Brooklyn and Element New York Times Square West, bringing its total number of New York City properties to 19. In addition, the Sheraton New York Hotel & Towers, the Sheraton brand’s flagship New York property, will launch a $90 million renovation later this year.