By Ilana Siyance
Brooklyn is getting a new Hilton hotel, just one block away from the other one.
As reported by the Real Deal, there will be a new hotel at 88 Schermerhorn Street, to be operated as a Motto by Hilton, a micro-hotel brand Hilton launched about a year ago. The vacant multifamily building at 88 Schermerhorn Street, was purchased in July by AWH Partners and partner Opterra Capital, a company founded by Glenn Alba . Alba, who was formerly a Blackstone Group managing director, created the company two years ago together with his colleagues from Blackrock, Russell Flicker and Jonathan Rosenfeld, who are now serving as AWH principals and co-founders. AWH currently has 28 hotels nationwide in its portfolio.
The developers bought the building from Louis Greco’s Second Development Services for $13.6 million. SDS had acquired the building in 2013 for $11 million with plans of turning it into condominiums.
While plans for the new hotel have not been officially filed, Mr. Flicker said it will be 25-stories tall and have about 120 rooms. He also said AWH is talking with lenders to begin construction on the project , which will be a long-term hold for the company. “We think it’s very rare to find a market with the kind of RevPAR Downtown Brooklyn has,” said Flicker, referring to revenue per available room. He also mentioned a “dearth” of hotel construction in Brooklyn. The Borough is now enjoying a 1.3 percent year-to-date increase in revenue per available room in Brooklyn, up to about $160. In the meantime, Manhattan’s revenue per available room has dropped 4 percent, and Queens’ has grown 2.2 percent, as per STR. Brooklyn currently has 78 hotels, Manhattan’ has 451 and Queens has 135. The new Hilton will be quite close to Brooklyn’s current Hilton, which is located at 140 Schermerhorn Street, and has 196 rooms.
AWH has tapped Danny Forster & Architecture to design the hotel, and is considering building it using modular construction. Flicker said his group is “very seriously considering modular” for the building. Modular design and construction is a growing trend in hospitality. It uses cutting edge technology to blend onsite construction with efficient prefabricated off-site factory assembly line construction delivered to the job site in modular sections. The construction method has been used more in low-rise, wood-framed projects, but New York City hotel developers like Richard Born and CitizenM’s partner Brack Capital Real Estate have been experimenting with it in the past couple of years. Forster’s architecture firm is working on an AC Marriott in Manhattan that is slated to become the world’s new tallest modular hotel.