NEW YORK CITY-It has been known for some months now that Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide Inc. has plans brewing for a W Hotel in Downtown Manhattan with the Moinian Group pegged as the developer. Those plans just came to light this week.

The 57-story W Hotel New York-Downtown Hotel & Residences will rise in the midst of the extensive office redevelopment currently under way and will be located at 123 Washington St., just across the street from the recently approved Freedom Tower. The newest W Hotel will contain 217 hotel rooms and 222 residential units. It is slated to open in 2008, with the sales office opening later this year.

“W is deeply connected to Manhattan and we’re proud to be a part of this important project to revitalize this part of the City,” says Ross Klein, president of Starwood’s Luxury Brands Group. “W New York-Downtown will create a destination inside a destination, adding substance, style and luxury to Manhattan’s most anticipated new development.”

Moinian is the owner and developer of the project, which is being designed by Gwathmey Siegel & Associates Architects. SHVO Marketing has been pegged to market the residential units. A spokesperson for SHVO tells it is to early in the project to discuss specifics like unit size or price. Starwood and Moinian did not return requests for comment.

Planned amenities include state-of-the-art kitchen appliances for the residences as well as rooftop terrace with cabanas, private spa rooms and full-service fitness centers.

The project is said to be the largest luxury project in Downtown and will be W Hotel’s first residential facility in Manhattan. W Hotel also operates five other hotels in the New York City, including the original W Hotel at 541 Lexington Ave., the W New York-Times Square at 1567 Broadway. The company is now working to expand its international holdings, expanding to Barcelona, Athens, St. Petersburg, Istanbul, Dubai, Doha, and most recently Milan.

“Few brands can match the lifestyle appeal of W Hotels, which immediately conveys a strong contemporary style and elevated taste-level to the buyer,” says Michael Shvo, president of SHVO. “As big believers in Downtown New York City, we’re thrilled to be part of this project, and will create a dynamic, interactive sales experience for the W brand that will make buying at the W New York-Downtown Hotel & Residences a very easy decision.”

The W Hotel project adds further fuel to a residential and hotel boom Downtown has been experiencing in recent months. In February the Alliance for Downtown New York released a study that estimated the number of hotel rooms in the area will double in the next five years. Also on the drawing board are hotels projects at 217 Pearl St., 126 Water St., 99 Washington St., 100 Greenwich St., 50 Trinity Pl., 20 Maiden Ln., 8 Stone St. and 33 Beekman St.

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