Hot off the Press!

3 09 2008

I emailed the city about the Norfolk Hotel and Conference Center project and here is the reply:

Thank you for your interest in the Norfolk Westin Hotel and Conference Center project. To give you a little history, you are indeed correct that it was a Hilton project to be developed by RLJ Development based in Baltimore. However, as the credit and financial and credit markets rapidly constricted late last summer RLJ unexpectedly withdrew from the project. I am confident that you are aware these difficulties have continued in financial and credit markets from that point on and even until today.
Fortunately, the City was able to reach an agreement with LTD Management, Fulco Development (a former development partner with RLJ who wished to continue with the project) and another strong Norfolk development company, Robinson Development. Once this new partnership was created (named the Norfolk Hotel Alliance), the City and our new partners needed to unwind RLJ’s involvement, move to secure the services of a new architectural design team, and ultimately secure a commitment from Starwood Hotels and Resorts, the parent company of Westin Hotels. All of these steps have been successfully completed and the project’s design in well underway, however, It was decided between the city officials and developers that it would be more prudent to go forward with 100% construction drawings prior to initiating any construction on the site. It is anticipated that the design documents will be completed by late winter, with construction beginning in the spring. Construction is to be completed in early 2011.
Although, the City would have rather not have had the setback that was created by RLJ Development’s decision to withdraw from the project we frankly feel that we now have a stronger locally based partner that will ensure an even better project. Not only is the Westin brand viewed as a higher tiered full service product, the hotel has now grown in both height and the number of rooms and suites it will contain.
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