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BAY HARBOR ISLANDS, FL-As part of its push to bring its is new lifestyle brand on line in 2008, Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide has tapped a subsidiary of Martin Taplin & Associates to develop aloft Bay Harbor. Construction is expected to begin later this year on the 135-room hotel.

The aloft at Bay Harbor, to rise at 1177 Kane Concourse, will be the first of its brand in Florida. It will be part of a mixed-use development including office, retail, restaurants and residential space. A spokeswoman for Martin Taplin & Associates tells GlobeSt.com it is too early to estimate the hotel’s development cost. She adds that construction is expected to take two years, with a planned opening in the fourth quarter of 2009 opening.

According to Starwood executives, aloft is a vision of W Hotels with urban-influenced designs. The guest lofts feature nine-foot ceilings and oversized windows. The first aloft hotels are scheduled to open in the first quarter of 2008.

“We are excited to be working with Starwood on this venture and feel the development of this property will aid in the revitalization of the Bay Harbor area and fill the void of a less expensive yet stylish hotel segment that is not currently being catered to,” Neil Sazant, principal of Martin Taplin & Associates, says in a statement. “We are actively seeking other attractive sites and intend to expand our ownership of aloft hotels as part of our growth strategy.”

Starwood is rolling out aloft hotels across the country, with recent announcements that the select-service hotel is being developed in Rogers, AR and Las Colinas, TX, as GlobeSt.compreviously reported. In addition, a joint venture of Interstate Hotels & Resorts and John Buck Co. is planning to bring the new brand to Rancho Cucamonga, CA and suburban Nashville, as GlobeSt.com also previously reported.

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