STAMFORD, CT—Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Inc. has commenced construction on its first W and Element dual-branded hotel development, scheduled to open in downtown Philadelphia in early 2018. The 295-room W Philadelphia and 460-room Element Philadelphia will occupy a 51-story skyscraper located in the geographic center of the city’s business, arts and retail districts, and directly across from Philadelphia City Hall. The property is owned by Chestlen Development and developed by Vine Street Matthews Development.
“This exciting project will bring two popular Starwood brands to Philadelphia and provide much needed inventory to the city and Convention Center, attracting even more visitors and meetings business to our downtown,” said Philadelphia Mayor Michael A. Nutter. “The construction and operations of the new development will also have a significant economic impact on the City of Philadelphia and the surrounding region, creating numerous immediate and long-term jobs and generating substantial tax revenues.”
Brook Lenfest, owner of Chestlen Development, said, “This has been many years in the making and a true collaboration between ownership, our development partners, the City of Philadelphia, the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania and Starwood Hotels & Resorts. We’re excited to deliver this iconic project to the downtown market.”
“We have actively pursued this market for some time and look forward to the upcoming debut of both W and Element in Philadelphia as part of this dual-branded development, which will increase Starwood’s total portfolio in the city to 12 hotels across seven of our nine world-class brands,” said Allison Reid, SVP of North American development for Starwood. “Our innovative W Hotels brand provides contemporary luxury and insider access in key urban and exotic destinations worldwide, while Element Hotels is an industry-leader in the eco-space, offering stylish, sustainable extended stay lodging. These two unique and highly differentiated brands will offer guests a new experience not currently available in the Philadelphia market.”
Combined, the W Philadelphia and Element Philadelphia can operate jointly as a 755-room headquarters hotel ideal for conventions and group business due to its direct views as well as short walking distance from both Suburban Station and the Broad St. entrance to the Pennsylvania Convention Center. Additionally, the property’s downtown location is near leading city attractions such as the Avenue of the Arts, Independence Hall, Barnes Foundation, Liberty Bell, Mutter Museum, the Philadelphia Museum of Art, and the galleries, restaurants and boutiques along Walnut St., Chestnut St. and Rittenhouse Row. It will be less than 10 miles from Philadelphia International Airport and one block from the redesigned Dilworth Plaza.
“The $786 million expansion of the Pennsylvania Convention Center has transformed it into the largest contiguous exhibit space in the Northeast and generated increased demand for high-caliber lodging within walking distance,” said Jack Ferguson, president and CEO of the Philadelphia Convention & Visitors Bureau. “These two new Starwood hotels will supply additional downtown room inventory in close proximity to the Pennsylvania Convention Center, which will encourage large-scale new business to select Philadelphia as their convention destination.”
The entrance to W Philadelphia will be on Chestnut St. The ground floor will feature a signature W Living Room (the W brand’s take on the traditional hotel lobby) with a full bar, VIP room and 150-seat destination restaurant. In addition, the hotel will offer a 2,900-sq.-ft. spa; 1,400-sq.-ft. FIT gym; 7,000-sq.-ft. WET outdoor terrace with a year-round heated outdoor pool and destination bar; and 45,000 sq. ft. of state-of-the-art meeting and event space for conventions, business meetings and social functions.
The Element Philadelphia will feature a separate arrival lobby on Chestnut St. with elevator access to the main second-floor lobby, which will feature a 1,400-sq.-ft. breakfast and lounge area, a 1,600-sq.-ft. fitness center and 560 sq. ft. of branded meeting space.