Sign here: Glam tower near Barclays Center will be a Marriott Autograph Collection hotel

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December 11, 2013 By Lore Croghan Brooklyn Daily Eagle
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Coming soon to Barclays Center: The battle of the trendy hotels.

Lodging-industry leaders are throwing their considerable clout into two Downtown Brooklyn hotels being built close to Brooklyn’s popular new arena – and two very different types of attention-grabbing concepts are being deployed.

Both new hotels will seek to capitalize on their proximity to Barclays, which in its recently finished first year in business became the Numero Uno concert venue in America.

One will be part of a high-end Marriott boutique hotel group whose iconic properties include the storied Algonquin. The other will be a new brand of hotel for health-and-fitness-conscious travelers created by InterContinental Hotels Group.

Here’s the skinny on 95 Rockwell Place, the glamorous glass tower that’s soon to start construction – its developers have hooked up with Marriott. To get the word on InterContinental’s trendy new offering, the EVEN Hotel, see related story.

The hotel franchise, or “flag,” at 95 Rockwell Place is the Marriott Autograph Collection, city Department of Finance records reveal.

There’s been plenty of press coverage on the fabulous hotel design by high-profile architect Thomas Leeser (including ours). But builder Second Development Services and hotel operator VOS Hospitality haven’t publicized their Marriott connection.

It’s expected to give them a leg up in launching their swanky 201-room hotel, which will have a rooftop bar, a banquet hall and a performance space in the basement.

“Marriott is known as having the strongest reservation system in the world,” a source said.

Hotels must meet high standards to be brought into the Autograph Collection – and have something unique to offer.

The properties are “an evolving ensemble of strikingly independent luxury hotels … each destination has been curated for its bold originality, rich character and uncommon details,” the hotel group’s website says.

They’re sprinkled in desirable destinations from Bali to Budapest to Times Square – where you’ll find the Algonquin, the home of literary great Dorothy Parker’s fabled Round Table. Or Rome, where the Boscolo Exedra is a restored 19th Century palace with a glass-floored area for viewing excavations of ancient Roman baths.

The Rockwell Place property, whose ground-breaking is expected in second-quarter 2014, will be able to boast of a location three blocks away from Barclays. And it’s right next door to Shakespeare’s new home, the Theatre for a New Audience, where Julie Taymor’s production of “A Midsummer Night’s Dream” is drawing rave reviews.

VOS Hospitality executive Mitch Garrett did not respond to requests for comment about working with Marriott. Autograph Collection spokeswoman Catherine Leitner said she’s not able to comment at this time.

City Finance Department records yielded other new info about the Rockwell Place hotel project: In October, the developers and the Mark Morris Dance Group signed a declaration to merge their properties into a single zoning lot.

That zoning lot declaration made possible the purchase of 47,337 square feet of development rights from the dance company, whose location at 3 Lafayette Ave. is on the opposite side of 95 Rockwell from the Shakespeare playhouse.

The asking price was $70 per buildable square foot, according to online marketing materials – meaning $3.3 million. Dance group spokesman William Murray declined to reveal the price paid.


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