McAleer & Rushe Group, developers of the Swiss Centre in London’s Leicester Square have announced an agreement with leading global hotel and leisure company Starwood Hotels & Resorts who will introduce their world class luxury ‘W’ brand to the UK for the first time. Construction of the £200m scheme has already commenced with completion estimated for Spring 2010.
Situated on a half acre site in the heart of the West End, the new development will provide a landmark gateway to Leicester Square. The 210,000sq.ft building will comprise the 194 bedroom 5 star ‘W Hotel’ with its 10 branded residences, signature spa, fitness facility, W Store, W Living Room experience as well as a restaurant and bar, together with an additional 10,000sq.ft retail unit at ground level and a 25,000sq.ft leisure unit in the basement which are available for lease separately. The scheme will give Leicester Square a contemporary new focal point as prestigious as the film premieres and celebrity parties for which it is famed.
Eamonn Laverty, Managing Director of McAleer & Rushe Group, commented, “By securing such an aspirational and desirable brand as ‘W’ Hotels not to mention introducing it to the UK, we firmly believe the project will set new luxury hospitality benchmarks in the West End. Our design team led by Jestico & Whiles Architects have worked closely with Westminster City Council to achieve what we believe will be an iconic building which will be a fitting contribution towards the regeneration of Leicester Square and assist with driving further tourism and leisure business into the West End of London.”
W Hotels is a global lifestyle brand with 21 properties in the most vibrant cities around the world and has become fastest growing luxury hotel brand in the world. Each hotel offers a unique mix of innovative design, comfort, and cultural influences from fashion and design to music and art and everything in between.
“Marking the entry of the W brand in the UK, ‘W London-Leicester Square’ will provide a unique alternative for our guests and facilitate their discovery of one of the world’s most fashionable cities. The hotel will offer escape, exclusivity and innovative design in the heart of London’s most dynamic district,” said Roeland Vos, President of Starwood Hotels & Resorts, Europe, Middle East and Africa.
Westminster City Council plans to upgrade the physical environment of Leicester Square through the refurbishment of this world renowned destination, with McAleer & Rushe Group supporting this initiative and contributing to its cost through the planning gain agreement put in place for the site as part of the planning permission for its redevelopment.
A team led by Chris Martin and Michelle Webb of Jones Lang LaSalle Hotels brokered the agreement with Starwood Hotels & Resorts on behalf of McAleer & Rushe Group. The team advised the Irish developer on the substantially enhanced value a 5 star lifestyle brand could deliver to a new hotel in Leicester Square.
“Due to its unique location and development potential, the site was a perfect fit for an internationally renowned luxury lifestyle brand and ‘W hotels’ was truly a perfect match. In London terms, Leicester Square is as close a match to the phenomenally successful ‘W New York-Times Square’ location as could be found, and with the combination of such an exciting product and high profile location we are sure the ‘W London-Leicester Square’ will quickly become one of London’s most famous hotels,” stated Chris Martin.
Other McAleer & Rushe Group projects in Central London include the redevelopment of 2-16 Baker Street as a new 150,000sq.ft headquarters office facility and 46-49 Blackfriars Road as a 225,000sq.ft hotel and office development.