The East Avenue Investment Group and Global Hyatt Corporation have announced plans to develop a hotel under Hyatt’s new luxury brand, Andaz, as part of a mixed-use development in Austin’s central core. The 210-room hotel will open in 2010. The announcement comes on the heels of Hyatt’s unveiling of its new brand in April 2007, and announcements for Andaz hotels in London and Manhattan. The landmark Great Eastern Hotel in the City of London will convert to Andaz in mid-October, followed by properties at 75 Wall Street and 485 Fifth Avenue, New York, in 2009.
In addition to operating Andaz Austin, Hyatt will also provide an array of services to 150 condo units in a joint, 182-foot structure. Adorned with upscale amenities, the hotel will feature a pool, spa and fitness center as well as a green roof offering guests and residents a “park in the sky.” In addition to lush landscaping, the 20,000-square-foot roof will also include a restaurant and cocktail lounge showcasing spectacular views of the city skyline and UT Austin campus.
According to Hyatt, Andaz will focus on casual luxury, offering guests an environment that allows them to live in their own personal style.
“Andaz was the result of extensive research which told us that both travelers and developers are looking for a high quality, boutique-inspired hotel experience that is casual and relaxed, yet characterized by consistently great service,” said Mark Hoplamazian, president and chief executive officer of Global Hyatt Corporation. “Andaz is an environmentally conscious brand, with an authentic and stylish product reflective of local culture, and a service model that is highly personal and uncomplicated.”
“The Andaz concept will integrate well with this prime location and Austin’s cosmopolitan energy,” said Steve Haggerty, global head - real estate and development for Global Hyatt. “Together, we intend to attract customers looking for fresh, uncomplicated luxury that is timeless and ‘gimmick’ free.”
Andaz designers have also gone to great lengths to be as environmentally friendly as possible, through various features that include offering organic food and beverage, using fully biodegradable products and focusing on energy efficiency. New hotel structures will incorporate ecologically friendly building materials and building systems.
“Andaz represents precisely what the East Avenue development is all about,” said Andy Sarwal, lead developer with East Avenue Investment Group LP. “The brand’s focus on individuality, innovation and local identity make it an ideal match for Austin as well as our project.”
East Avenue IG is transforming the 23-acre, former Concordia University into a $750 million, 2.75-million-square-foot urban community. It will feature 1,450 residential units, 600,000 square feet of office, 325,000 square feet retail space along with the new luxury hotel.
Approximately 150 condo units will rest atop the hotel rooms, and residents will enjoy access to the hotel’s amenities and services. Condo units will range in size from 800 to 2,700 square feet, with prices beginning in the $400,000s.
The Andaz location in East Avenue will mark Global Hyatt’s fourth location and brand in the greater Austin area. Other local sites include Hyatt Regency Austin on the shores of downtown, which is undergoing a more than $10 million renovation. Hyatt opened the luxurious Hyatt Regency Lost Pines Resort and Spa in June 2006, and plans to open a Hyatt Place in the Arboretum area in the fall.
“It’s no coincidence we have such a strong and growing presence in the Austin region,” Haggerty added. “We believe in the region’s future, and are very excited to have our next location situated in the heart of the urban core.”
Aquila Commercial is handling the marketing and leasing of the office space within East Avenue.
“Hyatt’s new concept will further enhance the uniqueness and attractiveness of the East Avenue development,” said Bart Matheney, principal with Aquila Commercial. “The definitively Austin, environmentally-friendly features and upscale nature of the hotel will perfectly compliment the planned office and retail components.”
Nestled in a nine-block area in the heart of Austin’s core, East Avenue is situated directly on I-35, off 35th Street. It is just three minutes from downtown, directly across the street from St. David’s Medical Center, three blocks away from the University of Texas at Austin, and one exit south of the Mueller redevelopment.
Construction on East Avenue will begin by early 2008 with the groundbreaking of two Class A office buildings with ground floor retail for delivery of space in early 2009. The buildings will feature a total of 320,000 square feet of space. The hotel/condo structure is slated to begin in the second quarter of 2008, and take approximately two years to complete.