Westin Phoenix Downtown |
Phoenix, AZ

KEY STATS

  • National's Role : Investor
  • Investment Type : Equity
  • Status : Operating
  • Gross SF / Keys : 270,165 / 242
  • Property Type : Hotel

Description
A 242-room full-service hotel with a signature restaurant is located strategically in the central business district. The hotel now occupies the lower half of a 26-story tower originally intended solely for Class A office space.

History
In 2006, NEBF partnered with a local landowner and a Chicago-based developer, Mesirow Financial, to design and build a mixed-use project consisting of Class A office space, residential condos and classroom space for Arizona State University. But highly-inflationary construction costs and deteriorating condo market conditions required a project downsizing to a Class A office tower with structured parking.

Development
With the project nearing base-building completion in late 2009 and more than half the building uncommitted for office leases, National (then NEBF’s in house real estate group) took the initiative to identify solutions which would preserve NEBF’s investment value in the project. The investment team conceived a plan to convert the available portion of the building into a business-class hotel, seizing an opportunity in what was an underserved local submarket and based on experience with hotel properties. The team pursued all pre-development activities necessary to implement the plan, including financial feasibility, concept pricing, hotel market assessment, and identification of a hotel operator. The project’s lending syndicate and local government supported the plan, respectively approving a loan modification and tax incentives.

Strategy
NEBF retained sole ownership of the project and the National team assumed all development responsibilities. These tasks included architect selection and supervision, general contractor selection and contract negotiation, construction oversight, hotel operator coordination, and change order coordination. National managed a complicated, fast-paced development project with a total budget of more than $40 million, including a $26 million construction contract. From concept to delivery, the project took approximately 20 months to complete.

Status
The Westin is now among the premier hotel properties in the Phoenix market with outstanding guest scores and reviews, and has been recognized as one of the top ten Urban Business Hotels in the entire Starwood Chain.