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Old Posted Jul 21, 2015, 7:31 PM
mhays mhays is offline
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Join Date: Jul 2001
Posts: 17,444
The snippet omits that the hotel was originally to be a full block (two acres) with 1,740 rooms.

They needed to vacate the alley to do that. The City played hardball and asked for too much in return. The developers were going to build 150 affordable housing units on top of the hotel's meeting podium, and also pay the standard millions in height bonus fees. (Some cities subsidize convention hotels, but we do the opposite.) But that wasn't enough. Rather than continue to negotiate and redesign, a process that's already been going on for years, they decided to go with the smaller package that didn't need to get through our horrible City Council.

The alley is a wierd "L" pattern through the block. Basically a 100x200' space on the corner will no longer be part of the project, and the hotel will be the outside L. The other site will be convenient during construction, then hopefully become something useful after. Another hotel would be nice. If done well it might expand the meeting space in the main hotel, but that would require bridging the alley, which would require lots of blood paid to the City Council, which would get political and take forever...

It'll be Seattle's largest hotel in terms of meeting space and room count. But the 1,740-room version would have had much larger meeting areas, and could have had a sizeable "convention" on its own (minus high-load space).

It's good that it's going forward, but a missed opportunity.

Our hotel market desparately needs rooms. Downtown (not sure what boundaries that encompasses) has 14,000 rooms. Last year we were over 80% occupied, and this year anecdotally it might be well over that. Equilibrium (the sweet spot) is different in every city but here it might be 75% or so. Current projects and proposals would have Downtown in the 18,000 range. Factor in growth year by year and it seems like we can use 18,000.
"Alot" isn't a word.