NEW YORK CITY-Starwood Hotels and Resorts Worldwide will open its swank W hotel brand’s flagship property in Times Square today. W New York-Times Square is the 16th W property to open in the last three years.

The 57-story hotel’s design is a collaborative effort between Toronto-based design firm Yabu Pushelberg and the Starwood Design Group. The sleek, modern building has 509 guestrooms, including 43 suites.

The hotel will also open its retail operation, W The Store, a partnership between Starwood and Platform LLC. Platform partners Stephen Werther, founder of the Portico, and Troy Halterman, proprietor of Troy, will stock a wide-ranging inventory of fashion accessories, beauty products, as well as home furnishing and small electronic items.

Also ready for business is the Whiskey, a below-ground, 7,500-sf bar and screening room. Rande Gerber’s Midnight Oil Co. has Whiskey locations in Los Angeles, Chicago, New Orleans, Aspen and Boston. Gerber already has one Whiskey club in New York, Whiskey Park.

Restaurateur Stephen Hanson, who owns several upscale New York eateries through his B.R. Guest company, will operate the hotel’s 350-seat seafood restaurant, Blue Fin.

The first W property opened in new York in December 1998. There are now five W hotels in New York City and 16 hotels brand-wide in the US and abroad. W hotels in development include properties in San Diego, Miami, Mexico City and Seoul, Korea.

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