W brand expands into Austin

W Hotels Worldwide has announced its plans to open W Austin Hotel & Residences in the Live Music Capital of the World. The project featurews approximately 250 guestrooms and 200 residential condominiums that will serve as an anchor for the City of Austin’s vibrant Second Street District.

The unique mixed-use development will be located on Block 21, an entire city block at the heart of the Second Street District and will star the new home of the world-famous “Austin City Limits” public television music show in a 2,000-seat live music and event venue. Also planned for Block 21 is the new location of Austin Children’s Museum as well as approximately 25,000 square feet of retail and restaurant uses and extensive outdoor space.

Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, the parent company of W Hotels, has entered into a management agreement with Austin-based Stratus Properties Inc. to manage the hotel, which is expected to open in early 2010 along with the residences.

“Austin, with its exceptional music scene, thriving creative and high tech community and the energy and vitality of the University of Texas, has long been on W’s short list of sites,” said Ross Klein, President of W Hotels Worldwide. “Our quest for the perfect address in Austin has been rewarded with this unique location at the center of Austin’s highly successful Second Street District. This neighborhood is now the hub of Austin’s downtown and continues to attract new restaurants, retail, office and residential projects; we’re thrilled to do our part to attract folks downtown, whether to live, visit, work or play.”

“We are extremely pleased to have the W Hotel anchor Block 21,” said Beau Armstrong, president of Stratus Properties Inc. “The collaboration between W Hotels, Austin PBS station KLRU-TV, the Austin Children’s Museum, and the City has been remarkable and will make for a wonderful project to complement the new City Hall, the planned $90 million central library, and existing and planned uses within the Second Street District. Block 21 will set a new standard for green building. Sustainable design, construction and operations will be the hallmark of our project. We will push the envelope to create a healthy environment for our residents and guests and for our community.”

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“We are very excited to be a part of Block 21,” said Bill Stotesbery, CEO and general manager of KLRU-TV, producer of “Austin City Limits” throughout its 32 seasons on the air. “The Stratus vision for Block 21 is to create an anchor destination for downtown Austin, one that reflects the cultural spirit and diverse interests of Austinites of all ages. The Austin City Limits Studio Theater is ideally suited for this vision, and we could not hope for a better team to make this a reality than Stratus, Austin Children’s Museum, and especially the W Hotel, whose brand stands for quality, just like ACL.”

W Montreal won Quebec’s Leading Boutique Hotel System at this year’s World Travel Awards.
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