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SAN JUAN, PUERTO RICO-The Puerto Rico Convention Center District Authority has picked a hotel operator for a $175-million mixed-use development that will rise next to the new $415-million Puerto Rico Convention Center. The projects comprise Puerto Rico’s largest mixed-use commercial real estate project.White Plains, NY-based Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide Inc. will operate the Sheraton San Juan Convention Center Hotel, a 500-room development that will sit next to the 580,000-sf Puerto Rico Convention Center. The convention center is scheduled to open next year and eventually be expanded to 1.3 million sf. The hotel is scheduled to open in 2007.The hotel development will include 50,000 sf of retail space, an eight-screen cinema complex, a 14,000-sf casino and a 25,000-sf multi-level nightclub/entertainment venue with a music hall for live performances. The hotel itself will include 63,000 sf of meeting and banquet facilities, a 10,000-sf spa, a selection of restaurants and several outdoor pools. The overall project is being financed by UBS Financial Services Incorporated of Puerto Rico. The hotel design team includes RTKL International Ltd. and Puerto Rico-based Ray Architects. The convention center was designed by TVS International of Atlanta, GA and Puerto Rico-based Jiménez + Rodríguez Barceló. Garfield Traub Development LLC and Puerto Rico-based Interlink Group were selected as the developers earlier this year. Starwood is partnering with the two developers on the hotel piece. In a similar project in Kansas, Starwood and Garfield Traub developed the Sheraton Overland Park at the Convention Center.The convention center is currently under construction on a 113-acre former US Navy base known as Isla Grande next to historic Old San Juan. The Rivas Dominici Regional Airport is located immediately northwest of the site. The hotel and convention center will be the centerpiece of the Puerto Rico Convention District. According to RTKL designer Jason Cruce, the mixed-use, urban street setting will eventually include office and residential units, a House of Blues restaurant, and a Caribe cinema.

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