HKS Expands Footprint with NYC Design Studio

The new studio will advance the Dallas-based hotel architecture firm's development pursuits across the northeastern U.S.
One World Observatory, Lower Manhattan, Manhattan
One World Observatory, Lower Manhattan, Manhattan

Dallas-based HKS Hospitality Group, the hotel architecture and interiors division of HKS Architects, recently expanded its footprint with the debut of a hospitality architecture design studio in New York City, its first in the Northeast.

“We now have a home base for all things hospitality in one of the greatest and most profound cities for growth in the world,” Nunzio DeSantis, executive vice president and director with HKS Hospitality Group, said in a prepared statement. With the support of HKS Architects’ six-year-old office in the city, the new design studio will be tasked with furthering HKS Hospitality’s development pursuits across the northeastern U.S.

HKS Hospitality tapped Alex John, a veteran architect from the company’s home office in Dallas, to serve as vice president at the new studio. John brings to the table the insight of a native New Yorker, and an expertise cultivated over 12 years with the firm. His work includes such prominent projects such as Secrets Playa Mujeres Golf & Spa Resort in Quintana Roo, Mexico; JW Marriott San Antonio Hill Country Resort & Spa in San Antonio, Tex.; and the 360-room Conrad Washington, DC at CityCenterDC, which is scheduled to reach completion in 2019.

“To have a strong presence here in New York City where we can create promising new relationships and connect in more meaningful ways with clients we’ve already served will offer exciting possibilities for HKS Hospitality Group as we continue to evolve and expand,” said John in prepared remarks.

HKS Hospitality’s decision to set up a design shop in New York comes at a time when new hotels have been popping up across the city at practically every turn. Active room inventory has been on a steady upswing in the city for quite some time now, growing from 76,400 in 2008 to 112,000 in 2016, according to a report by NYC & Co. A slowdown in the high rate of development activity may be afoot but with the city having welcomed a record 60 million visitors in 2016, an outright about-face does not appear to be on the horizon. As noted in the report, “From the Bronx to Staten Island, the City continues to attract new developments in luxury hotels, boutique and lifestyle brands, independent and affiliated properties, ranging in size from just 14 rooms to 600 or more.”