BERKELEY HEIGHTS, NJ-The first new full-service hotel built in the market in nearly two decades will rise within the Connell Corporate Park here. The Philadelphia-based AMC Delancey Group and the Fairfield-based Paramount Hotel Group are set to develop the eight-story, 228-room Westin Berkeley Heights. Cost of the project hasn’t been released.

“We targeted this market 10 years ago as having a major void when it came to upscale lodging,” says Paramount CEO David A. Simon. “But until now, we were unable to find the right site. This represents an opportunity to satisfy significant demand in an area with nearly insurmountable barriers to entry.”

“This marks the beginning of our development program,” says AMC Delancey president/CEO Kenneth P. Balin. “We also have the opportunity to work with the Connells, a third-generation family company,” developers of the 185-acre, four-building, 1.3-million-sf Connell Corporate Park. Major corporate tenants include AIG, Schering-Plough, EMC, Maher Terminals and Palisades Insurance.

The Westin Berkeley Heights will be franchised by AMC Delancey and Paramount Hotels under a license from Starwood Hotels, with Paramount managing the property. Its 228 rooms will include a 19-key component of extended-stay suites, “to accommodate the significant market demand for long-term stays,” Balin says. The property will also have some 17,000 sf of meeting space, including a grand ballroom and a 7,000-sf executive meeting center.

The project also represents the first ground-up development between AMC Delancey and Paramount, which jointly operate three other renovated full-service hotels on the East Coast.

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