Monday, September 20, 2010

Aloft Aloof in Areas Across Atlanta

Starwood's aloft hotel, previously announced to open alongside the W Downtown, seems to not actually be happening. Billed as "Aloft Post Park," it was to be constructed in cooperation with Post Properties and Barry Real Estate. Honestly, I didn't even recall it having been announced, but a walk by Allen Plaza had me staring at the Post Properties sign long enough that I spotted the aloft logo atop a (pictured) building that is not yet built, nor does it seem it ever will be. Barry Real Estate averted foreclosure at least once on its downtown W development, but was not so lucky last month when the New York private equity group that owns it took it into foreclosure. I would have thought that the property's location so close to the Aquarium and the World of Coke, not to mention the GWCC, the Dome and Philips Arena, would make it popular with visitors, but surprisingly it has had a tough time of it since day one.

The fact that the 28-story hotel had 237 rooms and also 74 condos, many say led to the financial mess that engulfed the hotel. The only Atlanta area W with condos, only 1 of the 74 units had sold when I last checked, and that lost revenue hurt Barry Real Estate so much so that it seemingly caused the cancellation or abandonment of the plans for the aloft property.

At one point, the aloft website stated a number of "areas" in which aloft would open in Georgia but only one remains in "coming soon" status. A planned location in Alpharetta is no longer happening and a location planned for Savannah has also been shelved. Another aloft was said to be part of the new Millennium Center near Hartsfield-Jackson but while the Hilton Garden Inn has opened, word of an aloft has ceased.

An aloft and an Element are both scheduled to open at the intersection of Peachtree and Piedmont Roads in Buckhead. Currently each brand's website reflects an opening date of September 1, 2012, although last year it was scheduled to be open in the fall of 2010. While Sam Massell and the Buckhead Coalition were caught a little off-guard by my inquiries and initial story of this opening, apparently Starwood plans to construct their hotels side by side on the land that currently houses Rooms To Go and the adjacent lot (from what I'm told, the abandoned Bertucci's/Bridgetown Grill is not part of the deal.) With Atlanta-based Noble Investment Group having opened one aloft already in Charlotte at the Epicentre, it's possible they will be involved in this one but I have been unable to confirm that it's still on the books despite it being on the Starwood website. ToNeTo Atlanta

Guess we might as well call this brand aflop in Atlanta?

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Anonymous said...

I don't believe the project was ever officially announced. The presumed Aloft hotel came from the rendering on the Barry website.

Anonymous said...

As I understand it, the hotel was doing fine - the Barry people were just in way over their heads. And supposedly they wouldn't let gays or blacks buy the apartments.

Anonymous said...

Ha....That sounds like they should have built in Cobb instead!

Anonymous said...

Heard the same thing about the project coming up against some serious issues, both financially and politically (Discrimination against buyers... there are several lawsuits that are open against the selling agency).

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