Marriott recently earned the title of largest hotel operator in the world after it purchased Starwood Hotels and Resorts. They now own 5,000 properties with 1.1 million rooms, spanning over 30 different brands. While many predicted that Marriott would merge many of the newly acquired brands together, they will all remain their own distinct brands. Of the 30 brands, 8 will be considered “luxury”.
The Los Angeles LGBT Center was just given the go for a new $40 million campus in Hollywood. The new campus, to be titled the Anita May Rosenstein campus, received full approval from the Los Angeles City Planning Commission. The campus will feature 100 units of senior affordable housing, 100 beds for homeless youth, and up to 35 units of supportive housing for young people. KFA Architects will design the center in collaboration with Leong Leong design firm. KFA Architects cofounder and principal Barbara Flammang commented on the property, saying, “the significance of the residential components of the project really has to do with the fact that the senior and youth housing are part of an integrated campus, creating a multi-generational living community for LGBT seniors and youth. This may be the first of its kind in the country.”
Choice Hotels Europe will soon open its first hotel in Athens, Greece. This decision was made following an agreement with GVK Enterprises. This agreement followed many others by Choice Hotels to expand their portfolio. These deals include delivering 25 hotels and 8,000 guestrooms in UAE and Saudi Arabia by 2021, multiple hotels in Belgium, and the co-branding of 19 properties in Germany, Austria and Hungary. In an official statement, GVK Enterprises president George Kontos said, “I’m delighted to work with Choice Hotels and bring their Comfort, Quality and Clarion brands to the Greek capital and islands. We look forward to helping them develop a portfolio of hotels that will appeal to international travelers visiting Greece for either business or pleasure.” The first Athens Choice Hotel is set to open by the summer of 2017.
General Investment and Development Cos. (GID) recently completed one of the largest deals since the Great Recession. The $2.4 billion deal went towards the debt and equity for Waterline Square, a three-building, 1,132-unit residential mega development on Manhattan’s Upper West Side. The nearly 5-acre property includes 3 luxury condominium towers spanning from 34 to 38 stories. The project will be designed in a group effort by 3 different architecture firms: Richard Meier & Partners Architects, Vinoly Architects, and Kohn Pedersen Fox Associates. The three towers are scheduled to be finished at the same time in 2019.
Former Best Buy CEO Brad Anderson is calling for large companies to make big changes in order to keep up with the ever-expanding Amazon. Anderson said, “Companies like Best Buy and Wal-Mart … are going to have to adapt their cultures to be able to move as fast as Amazon”. While physical stores still have the advantage of a local inventory, Amazon is quickly closing the gap on that advantage with its 149 fulfillment centers nationwide. Tech analyst Gene Munster stated about the situation, “Amazon is building an infrastructure that is going to defeat longer term.”