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We still have to pinch ourselves to believe that 1 Hotels are really real and are really happening.
The eco-friendly luxury hotel brand that quickly launched and quickly disappeared, thanks to the fallout from the economic recession, is now hard at work at completing its three hotels in New York (near Central Park), Brooklyn (near the bridge) and in Miami (in South Beach.)
And they've just added a trio of superstar chefs to do the hotels' farm-to-table restaurants.
Jonathan Waxman, Tom Colicchio and Seamus Mullen will do the restaurants for 1 Hotels Central Park, Miami and Brooklyn, respectively. The announcement was brief, only mentioning that the chefs would "celebrate nature in both design and food" and that all restaurants would use local purveyors. Also, the restaurants will all be totally different from each other (as we would hope.)
Things have finally begun to move forward with 1 Hotels who are planning open the 1 Hotel Central Park in the spring of next year. 1 Hotels are also working on properties in South Beach and Brooklyn. And now we've learned that the brand has changed their name ever so slightly to 1 Hotel & Home.
Tipster Andrew alerted us to the moniker change-up and pointed us to the 1 Hotels website for the proof. Indeed, 1 Hotels is going by 1 Hotel & Home with the tagline, 100% Natural, which is no doubt a reference to the hotel brand's green and sustainable practices. Here's who some1 describes it:
Once in a while a brand comes along that does what’s right and makes you feel good. We’re creating a new place that brings the sounds and textures of nature inside and engages the community outside. A place to experience the sensual goodness that comes from the use of reclaimed materials, the freshest organic ingredients and a considered way of doing things. A place to relax, connect and celebrate something that has never been done before.
"A place to experience sensual goodness." That's a tall order for any hotel brand, especially one that is hoping to use reclaimed materials and organic ingredients in an urban setting. But we're excited to see how 1 Hotels, er 1 Hotel & Home pulls it off.
[Screengrab: 1 Hotels]
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We did say we knew better when we had a first look at the new The 1 Hotel Central Park on 58th and Sixth Avenue last month: that projected fall construction finishing date was just a wee bit optimistic.
We stopped by the other day to check on progress and the site has a new rendering up and an updated estimated completion date of spring 2014.
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We already knew that 1 Hotels, the luxury but eco-friendly hotel brand created by former Starwooder, Barry Sternlicht, had been resurrected from the ashes of the 2008 economic collapse with plans to open 1 Hotels in Brooklyn and South Beach. But because we're so jaded about 1 Hotels actually coming to life (remember this hole in the ground in Seattle), we kinda skipped over the mention of another 1 Hotel ---The 1 Hotel Central Park on 58th and Sixth Avenue, just one block from the park.
Yet there it is and it is rising fast with plans to be finished in the fall of this year. Of course, we know better. This is New York and hotels are almost always delayed. However, it is rather exciting to see 1 Hotels making some real progress.
Detes are scant on the project (which is being built out of a former office building) but it will have the 1 Hotel brand signature amenities such as organic sheets, fresh ingredients, sounds and smells of nature and an overall "good" feeling about your hotel stay.
Another pic of construction is after the jump.
It's officially off-season in Miami and that means the Miami Hotel Mambo is heating up. In this week's number, Miami man Gregg Rory Holland told us that The Perry South Beach which once upon a time not too long ago used to be known as The Gansevoort has closed down for a $100 million renovation.
That's big news in itself. But what's even bigger about it is that the hotel will reopen as a 1 Hotels and Residences from Barry Sternlicht. This will be the first 1 Hotel to open and it will have 417 hotel rooms and 163 residential units.
For the hotel noobz out there, Sternlicht introduced his luxury 1 Hotels concept back in 2006. But the brand was whacked down by the economic fallout of 2008. It took a while but there have been encouraging signs of life again, with 1 Hotels and its sister luxury brand, Baccarat Hotels, planning to open five new hotels by 2015--two of which will be in NYC.
And now the 1 Hotel South Beach is poised to open in 2014.
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Quick history lesson: in 2006, we first learned about 1 Hotels, a newly conceived brand by Barry Sternlicht, head of Starwood Capital (which is different from Starwood Hotels, though Barry was a former exec at Starwood, and founded the W brand). Locations were planned for Seattle, New York, Washington DC, Scottsdale, Atlanta, Cleveland, and Fort Lauderdale. Lots of hype was made. The NY Times wrote about it.
Then, bad things happened to the economy, Sternlicht's grand visions unravelled like a sweater caught on barbed wire, and pretty much all of the projects sadly collapsed.
Fast forward to last night, when we received an email from Starwood Capital officially announcing the revival of both brands (1 Hotels and Baccarat Hotels). And not just that: a new timeline has been put in place to open five properties over the next two years.
1 Hotel has come a long way in a short time. From the sad, stalled Seattle project that petered out in 2008 to the high-profile Brooklyn development recently got the green light, things are moving along quickly on the new structure.
First off, the design has been revised—the rendering you see above is quite different from the one we originally saw eight months ago. And there's a reason for the change—according to a new WSJ article, owners are now hellbent on making the hotel (and accompanying condos) "blend" in more with the park.
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Back in November, we had gotten wind that Starwood Capital Group (remember folks, this is different from Starwood Hotels) put forth plans for a hotel concept at Brooklyn Bridge Park, specifically the 1 Hotels brand.
For those not familiar, 1 Hotels was pitched by Starwood Capital's Barry Sternlicht (the man who created W Hotels) back in the boom years for the hospitality industry before the economy collapse left 1 Hotels as nothing but a big pile of dirt in Seattle. Literally.
But it's a new dawn and a new day for the eco-conscious luxury brand now that they are coming to Brooklyn Bridge Park. Despite some heavy competition from brands like Le Meridien, Marriott Autograph Collection, Dream Hotels, Hyatt and Westin, 1 Hotels have won out! This means that, barring any crazy last-minute economy collapses or changed minds, the 1 Hotel dream will actually come to fruition. We're speechless!
Last week, several possible hotel projects were released for the upcoming redevelopment of the Brooklyn Bridge Park area and amongst all the developers and their fancy architect teams competing for the gig, an eagle-eyed tipster pointed out one of the most interesting ones--1 Hotels.
You all remember 1 Hotels right? From Starwood Capital's Barry Sternlicht, formerly of Starwood Hotels? The dreams for the new eco-conscious luxury brand died when the economy collapsed and all that was left was a big hole in Seattle.
But the times must be a-changing because Starwood Capital is dusting off the plans for 1 Hotel yet again. The proposed 1 Hotel, designed by Bernheimer Architects, looks very Standard NYC-inspired (in that it's very boxy) although its location right on the waterfront is very cool. The hotel will have about 170-225 hotel rooms, a restaurant (The Brooklyn Park Brasserie), a cafe (The Daily Bread), a spa, a mini-farmer's market stall right out front and some residences.
Judging from exterior alone, there's nothing that really wows us about the 1 Hotel. Then again, we've long suspected it's what will be inside the 1 Hotel brand that will make them stand out.
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This is what the proposed site for the 1 Hotel Seattle from master hotelier Barry Sternlicht looked like in February 2008. This is what it looks like now, in May 2009. We are struck by how remarkably similar this looks to the set of Parks and Recreation.
Yes, Sternlicht says that 1 Hotels "is still on" yet from past reports, we don't think the Seattle location is gonna make it. But while Sternlicht's talking about building a luxe green brand for the world's eco-conscious travelers, many hotels (both part of larger collections and independents) are already implementing green practices and some new buildings are obtaining LEED certifications. So Sternlicht better get on this fast.
Then again, leaving this lot undeveloped is actually pretty green in itself right now.
More 1 Hotel Seattle site snaps after the jump.
After seeing demolition at the site of the 1 Hotel Washington DC and with Starwood Capital combining the 1 Hotel and Baccarat Hotel brands into their newly formed SH Group, we know that plans to build and open 1 Hotels are still alive, if not moving slowly.
And today, more news affirming the existence of 1 Hotels arrived--we found more renderings of the 1 Hotel Washington DC on the architect's website. (Yes, we know. We are nerds for caring so much.)
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Ah, 1 Hotels. Such a mystery to us. A fantasy, even. But after years of being talked about and planned and hyped up...might you actually become a reality? Barry Sternlicht (who established Starwood Hotels) apparently thinks it's possible even in this economy.
Now, we've mentioned him before as the man behind Starwood Capital's fabled 1 Hotel & Baccarat Hotel brands, two planned luxury chains that ran into some serious funding-related complications and were mostly either delayed or taken out of development entirely.
We'd put 1 Hotels on DeathWatch and were ready to write the brand off as a poorly-timed dream that never really came to fruition amidst the whole economic meltdown. And the Baccarat brand, in the opinion of one source we consulted, "was announced at the height of the market when everyone was frothin' at the mouth. And then the floor fell out before he could get all the cash to start an actual project, just like 1."