New York City's First Environmentally Friendly Five-Star Hotel to Debut at Bryant Park

"1" Hotel and Residences to Open in a New, Mixed-Use "Green" Building

Across from One of NYC's Most Cherished Public Spaces in 2010

Jun 04, 2007, 01:00 ET from Starwood Capital Group

    NEW YORK, June 4 /PRNewswire/ -- Starwood Capital Group today announced
 that the recently launched "1" Hotel and Residences, the world's first
 luxury, eco-friendly global hotel brand, will open New York City's first
 five-star green hotel on West 40th Street in Manhattan, across from Bryant
 Park. The "1" Hotel and Residences will be part of a proposed 31-story
 mixed-use green tower being developed by 40th Street Development, LLC, an
 affiliate of Ascent Real Estate Advisors, LLC, of New York. The new luxury
 project, which will also feature condominium residences and dining concepts
 developed by restaurateur Stephen Hanson, will be a green project built to
 LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) Standards.
     The "1" Hotel and Residences at Bryant Park will open during the first
 half of 2010. It will demonstrate that green principles can coexist and
 enhance a luxury hospitality experience and healthy residential lifestyle.
 The Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) is serving as an advisor on
 "1" with the goal of helping Starwood Capital set a new standard for
 environmental excellence. The "1" Hotel at Bryant Park will also donate one
 percent of its profits to local environmental organizations guided by a
 steering committee with NRDC representation. Other "1" Hotels are currently
 being planned for Seattle, Scottsdale, Az., Ft. Lauderdale, Fl., Mammoth
 Lakes, Ca., Washington, D.C. and Paris.
     "Today marks an important step in the development of what I believe
 will truly become a revolutionary force for change in the hospitality
 industry," said Barry Sternlicht, Chairman and CEO of Starwood Capital
 Group. "When we announced the creation of '1,' we promised it would combine
 a truly luxurious living experience with a commitment to environmental
 standards and responsibility, and there is no better place to implement
 such a vision in New York than across from one of the City's most adored
 parks. Our design will adhere to Bryant Park's feeling of openness, while
 promoting a healthy and invigorating atmosphere through its environmentally
 sensitive construction and amenities. We have many truly extraordinary
 signature services and features which we will showcase when this exciting
 hotel opens. I am delighted to be working with such highly skilled partners
 as Ascent, Steve Hanson and the NRDC on this project, and I look forward to
 inviting New Yorkers and visitors from around the world to experience the
 power of '1' here in 2010."
     John Porges, a principal of Ascent and a manager of 40th Street
 Development, LLC, said, "We are extremely excited to be partnering with
 Barry Sternlicht's '1' brand and to have the opportunity to develop what
 will be New York City's finest and most important green hotel across from
 one of New York City's most beautiful public spaces. Bryant Park is rightly
 known as one of the City's most spectacular and beloved parks, so we felt
 that any project seeking to become its immediate neighbor needed to be
 equally as spectacular and special." Dean Benjamin, also a principal of
 Ascent and a manager of 40th Street Development, added, "We believe that
 the '1' Hotel and Residences on Bryant Park will meet that challenge and
 are confident that this thoughtfully conceived green development will honor
 and respect both the Park and the many other important buildings in the
     As with all "1" Brand projects, the "1" Hotel and Residences on Bryant
 Park will be a LEED-certified project. The LEED rating system was created
 by the U.S. Green Building Council and is the nationally accepted benchmark
 for the design, construction and operation of high performance green
 buildings. The new tower on 40th Street, designed by highly-regarded New
 York City architect Morris Adjmi, will feature a number of green
 construction and operational components, including:
     -- A high performance building envelope, with extensive day lighting and
        installation of keycards, occupancy sensors, lighting control systems
        and Energy Star appliances throughout to save energy; the building will
        be at least 30% more efficient than required by the NY State Energy
        Conservation Code.
     -- Extensive use of high recycled-content and locally procured materials.
     -- Low- and no-VOC emitting materials to improve indoor air quality.
     -- 50% of the energy used will come from renewable sources such as wind,
        hydro and biomass.
     -- Greenhouse gas emissions from operations will be reduced 30%.
     -- Potable water use will be reduced by 30% and no potable water will be
        used for landscaping. Irrigation water use will be reduced by 50%.
     -- Non-toxic products will be used for housekeeping.
     One key component of the future New York City "1" Hotel and Residences
 will already be recognizable to restaurant-savvy New Yorkers: The top-notch
 service and high-quality dining experiences provided by Stephen Hanson and
 B.R. Guest. Mr. Hanson, who will deliver restaurant service, banqueting and
 room service, is well known for his outstanding creations in New York,
 Chicago and Las Vegas, with restaurants that include Blue Water Grill,
 Fiamma Osteria, Dos Caminos, Ocean Grill and Ruby Foo's. Mr. Hanson said,
 "Guests and residents of the Bryant Park '1' will quickly come to expect
 nothing less than a premier hotel and dining experience that appeals to
 each of their senses and promotes a sense of tranquility amid the otherwise
 bustling streets of Midtown. Our kitchens will use organic and other fine
 local ingredients to prepare extraordinary meals that are completely in
 tune with the building's environmental conscience."
     The "1" Hotel and Residences on Bryant Park will be a 31-story luxury
 tower to be built at 14-20 West 40th Street, on the southern side of the
 street between 5th and 6th Avenues, overlooking Bryant Park and the New
 York Public Library. The property is currently home to a surface level
 parking lot. The building is designed by architect Morris Adjmi, who has
 been lauded for his contextual design and who the New York Times said "has
 made something of a specialty of creating new buildings in historic
 districts." The building will feature approximately 100,000 square-feet of
 hotel and 86,000 square-feet of residential condominiums. The building
 design was recently approved by the New York City Landmarks Preservation
 Commission, and 40th Street Development, LLC is currently working with City
 agencies and local officials on additional City approvals. Starwood
 Capital/"1" Hotels and 40th Street Development, LLC, an Ascent Real Estate
 Advisors entity, have signed a letter of intent on the project and are
 nearing completion of definitive documents.
     Starwood Capital Group has been a leader in real estate investments
 since 1991. Its international investor base includes some of the United
 States' largest state and corporate pension funds, endowments and
 foundations and high-net worth families from around the world. During the
 past fifteen years, Starwood Capital and its affiliates have invested
 approximately $6 billion of equity capital in transactions representing
 over $30 billion of asset value. Starwood has closed and/or advised on over
 215 transactions ranging in size from $1 million to $14.6 billion, and has
 acquired equity interests in residential and multifamily, hotels, office,
 retail and industrial space, golf and leisure-related properties.
 Starwood's most recent transactions include the $3.2 billion acquisition of
 Groupe Taittinger and Societe du Louvre, Europe's second largest hotel
 network with a unique collection of 14 luxury hotels in Europe, including
 France and Switzerland, in addition to managing over 800 budget hotels
 throughout Europe plus the approximately $1 billion acquisition of 32 Le
 Meridien luxury, four/five star hotels located primarily across Europe but
 also in North America, Africa and South America. Starwood has led the
 formation and growth of several market leading companies including iStar
 Financial, the leading publicly traded finance company specializing in
 commercial real estate mortgage, mezzanine and net lease financing;
 Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, a leading global owner/operator of
 hotels, with ownership of brands such as Sheraton, Westin, The St. Regis
 Luxury Collection and the "W"; and National Golf Properties/American Golf
 Corporation, the largest owner/operator of golf courses and related
 facilities in the U.S. Starwood Capital Group no longer owns an equity
 stake in either iStar Financial or Starwood Hotels.
     40th Street Development is an LLC formed by Managing Principals John
 Porges and Dean Benjamin. John Porges is a sixteen-year veteran of the real
 estate industry, who, along with co-founding 40th Street Development LLC,
 is also a principal of the investment management and advisory firm Ascent
 Real Estate Advisors. Prior to this, John was vice president and general
 counsel to J.D. Carlisle Development Corporation, a New York development
 company. Mr. Porges was responsible for implementing and executing
 day-to-day investment and development strategies, including acquisitions,
 structuring joint ventures with investment banks, financing, leasing,
 marketing and zoning. Among the high-profile development projects he
 oversaw were Morton Square, The Pennmark, recently renamed the Olivia, and
 the New York University Cancer Center.
     Dean Benjamin is an eighteen-year veteran of the real estate industry
 who is currently a principal of the investment management and advisory firm
 Ascent Real Estate Advisors. Prior, he was a member of the Principal
 Transactions and Realty Investment Groups at Credit Suisse. Mr. Benjamin
 was responsible for the origination, structuring and launching of many
 Commercial Mortgaged Back Securities transactions, as well as the
 consummation of various other asset securitization transactions.

SOURCE Starwood Capital Group