PORTLAND, Maine - (BUSINESS WIRE) - Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Inc. (NYSE: HOT) together with officials of New Castle Hotels and Resorts and RockBridge today announced the upcoming opening of The Westin Portland Harborview in the spring of 2013. Currently known as the Eastland Park Hotel in Portland, Maine, the landmark property will undergo a complete $40 million renovation to implement the full suite of Westin signature amenities and services, prior to raising the Westin flag.
New Castle, along with RockBridge, an integrated hotel investment firm, acquired the hotel in 2011 with plans to restore Portland’s “grand dame hotel,” which dates back to 1927. Preserving its historical integrity, the hotel will be stripped to its earliest “bones” of concrete, bricks and steel and updated with the latest Westin signature brand services and amenities. A significant portion of the renovation will be underwritten with historic tax credits sponsored by U.S. Bancorp Community Development Corporation. The Boston office of U.S. Bank Commercial Real Estate provided first mortgage financing, demonstrating flexibility and high service standards throughout the documentation and closing process.
“New Castle has a long, successful history of revitalizing magnificent, landmark hotels and resorts and returning them to the iconic status they once enjoyed,” said Gerry Chase, president and COO of New Castle, which currently operates four other historic landmark hotels in the northeast. “The careful restoration we have planned, coupled with Starwood’s world-renowned Westin flag, will ensure that we not simply renovate the Eastland, but preserve its unique character and place in the city, setting it on a path that will ensure its success in the coming years.”
“We're proud to provide historic tax credit financing for a significant redevelopment project like this,” said Laura Vowell, vice president at U.S. Bancorp Community Development Corporation, the community investment subsidiary of U.S. Bank. “Historic tax credit financing is an important way to invest in communities and assist in revitalizing urban areas. The historic tax credit program helps preserve the integrity of historically important buildings, revitalize urban areas and create jobs. It also allows us to partner with developers like RockBridge and New Castle, which respect the character of these treasured icons. We're grateful for the partnership.”
Boasting commanding views of downtown from the city’s only rooftop lounge, The Westin Portland Harborview is located at 157 High Street in the heart of Portland’s thriving art district, directly across the street from the Portland Museum of Art. The State Theater is located on the opposite corner, and the city’s Children’s Museum is within easy reach. Surrounded by numerous galleries, restaurants and boutiques, the hotel is close to Portland’s financial district and just minutes from the Old Port waterfront. Travel & Leisure magazine readers recently ranked Portland the fifth hippest city in the U.S., and GoLocal named it the fifth best city in New England, citing the city’s eco-consciousness and live music scene.
“The Westin Harborview is an exciting project that highlights the increasingly important role conversions are playing in advancing the Westin brand’s growth in dynamic markets across North America,” said Allison Reid, senior vice president of North America development, Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Inc. “Westin is a top choice among owners and developers seeking a strong brand affiliation, due to the resounding success of its distinctive wellness positioning, signature programming and category leading performance.”
The sensory-rich environment at Westin offers a respite from the rigors of travel and sets a welcoming tone. The Westin brand’s innovative programs and instinctive service will transform every aspect of a guest’s stay into a revitalizing experience with a better you in mind. Following renovations, all 289 guestrooms and suites at The Westin Portland Harborview will be outfitted with the world-renowned Westin Heavenly® Bed – an oasis of lush sheets, down and a patented pillow-top mattress, which cradles and contours to the body for complete comfort. Guests will revive in the Heavenly® Bath enhanced with the brand’s Heavenly® Shower, Heavenly® Robe and White Tea Aloe bath amenities, in-room, high-speed Internet access and an ergonomic work space to help guests work well in a convenient and productive setting. The resort will also feature the Westin brand’s signature SuperFoodsRX® menu, which includes options to tempt every palate.
The renovation will include the restoration and expansion of the hotel’s famous “Top of the East" rooftop lounge overlooking the city and the complete modernization of the building’s systems, including the addition of wireless Internet service.
“As many as four generations of area residents have celebrated marriages and other life-affirming events at the hotel. We intend to build on that enviable record,” said Bruce Wennerstrom, regional vice president of New Castle. “Meeting planners who require a distinctive venue for their meetings and social occasions will find The Westin Portland Harborview a welcoming, one-of-a-kind location with historic charm and modern amenities.”
Westin Hotels & Resorts, like all brands within Starwood’s robust portfolio, is proud to offer the Starwood Preferred Guest® program, which made headlines when it launched in 1999 with a breakthrough policy of no blackout dates on Free Night Awards. SPG® offers members the ability to redeem awards at more resorts, more luxury properties, more European hotels and more golf properties than any other hotel program.
For more information on Westin Hotels & Resorts, please visit www.westin.com or www.facebook.com/westin.
RockBridge is an integrated hotel investment firm that has executed on over 300 debt and equity hotel investments in the U.S. over the past two decades. Since 1992, RockBridge’s team has invested nearly $3 billion in the hospitality industry as part of approximately $5 billion of total transaction capitalization. The principals of RockBridge have formed and managed nine hospitality-focused investment funds across multiple platforms with predominantly institutional investors. For additional information about RockBridge, visit www.rockbridgecapital.com.
Westin Hotels & Resorts makes the healthiest choices irresistibly appealing, so guests leave feeling better than when they arrived. With more than 186 hotels and resorts in over 36 countries and territories, Westin is owned by Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Inc. (NYSE:HOT). Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Inc. is one of the leading hotel and leisure companies in the world with 1,103 properties in nearly 100 countries and 154,000 employees at its owned and managed properties. Starwood is a fully integrated owner, operator and franchisor of hotels, resorts and residences with the following internationally renowned brands: St. Regis®, The Luxury Collection®, W®, Westin®, Le Méridien®, Sheraton®, Four Points® by Sheraton, Aloft®, and ElementSM. The Company boasts one of the industry’s leading loyalty programs, Starwood Preferred Guest (SPG), allowing members to earn and redeem points for room stays, room upgrades and flights, with no blackout dates. Starwood also owns Starwood Vacation Ownership, Inc., a premier provider of world-class vacation experiences through villa-style resorts and privileged access to Starwood brands. For more information, please visit www.starwoodhotels.com.
Based in Shelton Connecticut, New Castle Hotels & Resorts owns and operates more than 26 hotels and resorts in the United States and Canada. The privately-held company consistently ranks among the top 100 hotel management and development companies in the United States and is a preferred operator for major US hotel brands.
Lauralee Dobbins | Chris Daly