W brand heads for downtown Atlanta

W Hotels Worldwide has announced plans for a new hotel in downtown Atlanta.Barry Real Estate Cos. and Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, W’s parent company, have reached an agreement to build the W Atlanta Downtown Hotel & Residences, a mixed-use tower that will be part of Atlanta’s Allen Plaza.

When its doors open in 2008, the W Atlanta Downtown Hotel & Residences will be the brand’s first new-build property in metro Atlanta. The 28-story tower will be constructed at 45 Ivan Allen Jr. Blvd. and will feature 237 hotel rooms, 76 luxury condominiums and 10,000 square feet of meeting space. Adding to the prestige of this project, the hotel will boast the city’s first hotel-topped heliport to whisk guests and residents from downtown to a variety of points across the metro region.

World-renowned Pickard Chilton Architects is designing the building with floor-to-ceiling glass and an outdoor terrace, while BurdiFilek Interior Design out of Toronto is completing the vision for the interior spaces, including the condominiums.

The condominium residences will blend the best of all worlds - the comforts of home combined with the extraordinary experiences available at W Hotels. Owners will have full use of all of the hotel’s facilities including the pool, spa, and fitness center, as well as access to W’s famed Whatever/Whenever concierge service that can provide whatever residents or guests want—from a pair of running shoes to private jet service—whenever they want it. In addition, residents may arrange for 24-hour room service, daily housekeeping and valet.

The W Atlanta Downtown Hotel & Residences will also offer the ultimate luxury to hurried business travelers and guests: a rooftop heliport to bypass traffic.


“Special business guests and residents will fly to our hotel via helicopter after arriving at Peachtree-DeKalb or Charlie Brown airports,” said Hal Barry, founder and chairman of Barry Real Estate Cos. “I envision celebrities and other VIP guests avoiding traffic and crowds by flying to their suites or homes aboard our helicopter.”

Additionally, the project will include a signature restaurant, bar, and, as part of W’s exclusive partnership with bliss, the beauty brand beloved by celebrities and fashion insiders, the W Atlanta Downtown will open with a luxurious bliss Spa.

The luxury condominiums above the hotel will be marketed to Atlanta’s growing professional community seeking a home in the city. Coldwell Banker The Condo Store has been hired to market and sell the property. Construction on the foundation and parking deck underneath the structure has already begun and work on the tower is expected to begin in the first quarter of 2007.

“The W Atlanta Downtown Hotel & Residences is an exciting addition to the quickly expanding downtown landscape,” said Chris Schoen, CEO of Barry Real Estate. “The project will feature the highest level of design and architecture - unlike anything else in Atlanta - and will reinvent the hotel experience. It will provide a unique facility for luxury business and leisure travelers, as well as the best choice for residents who wish to own a piece of the W lifestyle.”

Starwood’s W Atlanta Downtown Hotel & Residences represents the hotel giant’s new generation of designs as it aggressively expands its footprint around the globe. “We are pleased to partner with Barry Real Estate Companies to bring W Hotel’s brand of exceptional service and world-renowned design to Allen Plaza,” said Steven J. Heyer, CEO of Starwood Hotels. “The resurgence taking place downtown is exciting, and we want to be a part of the momentum. Allen Plaza is a superb location, and we feel the area is primed for the first-class hotel and living accommodations we will provide.”

Ross Klein, president of W Hotels, said, “The W Atlanta Downtown Hotel & Residences will create a place where comfort meets cool, where innovative design flirts with fashion, food, art and everything in between. W Hotels provides an escape from the mundane, blossoming beyond simply a hotel to become an influential and innovative lifestyle authority. This evolution has made for exciting times for the brand, and we’re glad to bring this ground-up project to Atlanta.”

Situated at the confluence of the Downtown Connector, Ivan Allen Jr. Blvd., Williams and Spring streets, Allen Plaza has grown into a more than $1 billion mixed-use development, covering several city blocks. Allen Plaza is steps away from the Georgia Aquarium, the new home of the World of Coca-Cola and Centennial Olympic Park.

Allen Plaza already has attracted Southern Co., a Fortune 500 company, and Ernst & Young, an international consulting firm. Southern Co. moved into its new headquarters at 30 Allen Plaza in early 2006. Ernst & Young will move into 55 Allen Plaza in spring 2007.

The Allen Plaza development is named for Ivan Allen Jr., the late Atlanta mayor who played a critical role in bringing the city together, promoting its central business district and making Atlanta an area that could attract world-class corporations.

No other development in metro Atlanta has all the elements represented at Allen Plaza: premier class “A” office towers with unparalleled access and visibility, luxury hotels surrounded by high-rise condominiums, first-class, street-level retail in a great walking district and a vision that can be traced to one of the city’s great mayors.