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MOUNT LAUREL, NJ-Construction has started for a new 154-room Aloft hotel just off Exit 4 of the New Jersey Turnpike here. The hotel is being developed by Grande Properties, an affiliate of the locally based Delco Development, which will own it. The White Plains, NY-based Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide will operate the hostelry under its Aloft brand.

Plans for the hotel and its loft-style rooms were rolled out in early 2007 with the signing of an operating and branding agreement between Delco and Starwood. With the start of construction, a fall of 2009 opening is anticipated. Cost of the project has not been released.

“We are thrilled to introduce Aloft to Mount Laurel, a vibrant, growing community,” says John Moser, Delco senior vice president, in a statement. “Aloft is designed to appeal to a whole new generation of travelers.”

Brian McGuinness, vice president of Aloft and Element hotels for Starwood, says that “Aloft will complement this market, with its active social scene.” He terms the Aloft brand and concept “infused with the DNA of W Hotels,” another Starwood brand. He describes Aloft as, “a lifestyle brand.”

Located near this community’s border with Cherry Hill in the Philadelphia metro area, Aloft Mount Laurel will have an indoor pool, a fitness facility and 5,400 sf of meeting space, all designed by David Rockwell and the Rockwell Group. The property also includes a pad site of approximately 8,000 sf that will be developed as a freestanding restaurant.

Starwood’s Aloft group began opening its first hotels this year, and is planning to open up to 500 properties in the US and worldwide over the next five years.

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