DALLAS-Ross Perot Jr. again is raising the “Victory” sign over Dallas by picking an all-star replacement slate for the first phase to a $100-million, mixed-use development plan that was temporarily sidelined a few months ago when the announced developer took a bye.

The regrouped plan has a 251-room hotel, street-level retail and 94 condos bundled into one building that will neighbor the $420-million American Airlines Center in the 72-acre “brownfield” site, now being marketed with an Uptown identity. The White Plains, NY-based Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide Inc. was awarded a long-term contract with enough options that it will be the W Hotel operator for generations to come. “It’s our intention that it will be a Starwood-operated W Hotel for the majority of this building’s life,” Jonas Woods, president of Hillwood’s Victory development tells GlobeSt.com.

Woods says ground will break in the fourth quarter, with late 2005 eyed for a grand opening. Hillwood’s Dallas-based development partners are Southwest Sports Realty, led by Tom Hicks, and Gatehouse Capital Corp., with Marty Collins as the president. Gatehouse, marking its third W Hotel, is a real estate advisory firm that serves as Starwood’s agent for the development of all-suite hotels in the West, Northwest and Northeast regions and partners with National Development of Newton Lower Falls, MA, according to a published account. Their other W Hotels are located in San Diego and the Silicon Valley community of Newark. The “W” flag flies on 21 facilities in the US and Canada, with the closest one to Dallas in New Orleans.

The Perot team wasted no time in backfilling a development hole left by Urban Related Capital of New York City when it backed out of a $600-million development plan for 20 acres. The new project, though smaller in size, will still accomplish Perot’s goal to redevelop an infill tract within a stone’s throw of the Dallas CBD. But, other buildings are on the drawing boards to cycle the 60-acre balance to build out.

The W Dallas Victory Hotel and Residences will include 25,000 sf of street-level retail and a small amount of office space. Leasing falls to David J. Levine, known in Dallas as the general partner for the West End Marketplace, now a main stopping point for tourists, and later a founding partner in George Lucas’ Entertainment/Retail Development group, and Edward A. de Avila, principal of Core Retail, whose handiwork includes the 15-block Country Club Plaza in Kansas City, MO, and co-founder of Centertainment Inc., the wholly owned subsidiary of AMC Entertainment Inc.

Dallas has the “business and leisure” destination reputation that makes a good partner for the W Hotels brand, Barry S. Sternlicht, Starwood chairman and CEO, said in a press release. “A W experience is truly unforgettable, and one that the people of Dallas are sure to embrace,” he added. That “embrace” is key to the five-year-old concept “wired” to cutting edge chic from original artwork to signature restaurants and even personal trainers. The W Dallas Victory design will include a 10,000-sf spa, pool and fitness facility on the 16th floor with views of the downtown, 11,000 sf of meeting space and a nationally recognized bar on the roof of the 33rd floor.

“This is an important step in fulfilling our goals for Victory of providing diverse urban events that together create an urban district and lifestyle unlike what Dallas offers today,” Perot said, noting the mixed-use design will be architecturally significant as it takes its place in the Dallas skyline.

The W Dallas Victory Hotel is the first time that the brand will be teamed with a residential component, with floors 17 though 31 dedicated to condos. Not only will the owners get balconies with views, but they will have full use of hotel facilities, including options for 24-hour room service, daily maids and concierge service. “We anticipate a strong demand for our serviced residential condominium product from the progressive clientele in Dallas,” said Michael Mueller, Starwood’s senior vice president of development.

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