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HUNTINGTON BEACH, CA-Starwood Hotels & Resorts plans to plant its W Hotel flag at Newport Beach-based Makar Properties’ 31-acre Pacific City development here. The mixed-use project, which is under way on Pacific Coast Highway at First Street, will now include a 250-room W Hotel, according to Makar and Starwood.

Scheduled to open in 2010, the W Huntington Beach and the Residences at W Huntington Beach will be owned by an affiliate of Makar. In addition to the 250 guest rooms, the property will include approximately 92 private residences, a signature restaurant, a bar and a destination spa. The opening of W Huntington Beach will mark the fifth California property for the W brand.

Paul Makarechian, president and CEO of Makar Properties, sees Orange County as “an untapped market” for the W Hotel brand. Makar’s planning for Pacific City has included a hotel from the outset.

Scheduled for completion in early 2010, Makar’s Pacific City will feature 424 luxury condominium units and 191,000 sf of retail and office space, including 48,900 sf of restaurant space.

The Pacific City retail village portion of the project is scheduled to open in late 2009.

Pacific City overlooks an eight-mile stretch of beach, which attracts more than 11 million visitors each year. The city was once a sleepy haven for surfers, but it has developed into a resort-style vacation and entertainment district with local breweries, pubs, restaurants and shopping.

The Pacific City project will link the two existing luxury resorts in Huntington Beach, the Hyatt Regency Huntington Beach Resort & Spa and the Hilton Waterfront Beach Resort, with the city pier and the existing downtown district. Hotel designers on the Pacific City project include KKE Architects and MBH Architects, with KTGY Group for retail/office and residential, Skidmore, Owings & Merrill for the interior of the hotel and Lifescapes International for landscaping.

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