Two-in-One Hotel Project to Join $3B Port Imperial

Mack-Cali Realty Corp. subsidiary Roseland will be building two Marriott-flagged hotels at Port Imperial in Weehawken, N.J.

By Scott Baltic, Contributing Editor

RenMack-Cali Realty Corp. subsidiary Roseland will be building two Marriott-flagged hotels, essentially on different sides of a single building, at Port Imperial, the company’s $3 billion mixed-use waterfront development in Weehawken, N.J., Mack-Cali announced Monday.

The two hotels will be a 210-key Renaissance hotel and a 154-key Residence Inn. The project will feature meeting and function space for 450 guests and a 15,000-square-foot deck off the sixth-floor sky lobby, with views of Midtown Manhattan.

The project’s estimated cost is $129.6 million, a Mack-Cali spokesperson told Commercial Property Executive. Toward that, Roseland and partner XSS Hotels secured about $94 million in financing for a syndicated construction loan led by Fifth Third Bank, with additional syndicated lenders including Santander and Investors Savings Bank.

The hotels will be built on top of the 850-space Port Imperial parking garage, with 17,000 square feet of ground-level retail space next to the NY Waterway ferry terminal. Each hotel will have its own ground-level entrance and lobby, and a connection on the sixth floor will provide guests with shared access to the outdoor terrace, function space, pool, fitness center and high-end restaurant.

The Renaissance will be a full-service hotel with luxury guest rooms, a lounge and breakfast space. The Residence Inn will cater to extended-stay guests, typically those spending four or five nights. It will feature guest rooms with 400-plus square feet of space and a fully equipped, en suite kitchen, as well as free hot breakfast served daily.

The project is scheduled to be completed by the end of 2017.

The spokesperson told CPE that because the structure is going on top of an existing parking garage, there is no groundbreaking per se. Some preparatory measures reportedly are under way, and steel for vertical construction has been ordered.

“The boom of interest in the Weehawken waterfront is a testament to the appeal of urban mixed-use communities that offer superior transit options,” Roseland president Marshall Tycher said in a prepared statement. “These hotels will be the signature amenity for Port Imperial and the entire waterfront, and will signal the continued growth of all sectors in this prime market.”

“There are a wealth of demand generators on the New Jersey side that sustain this very healthy lodging market, and the hotel is located across the street from a ferry providing direct connections up and down Manhattan,” Erich Baum, a senior vp with HVS, told CPE.

“New full-service hotel development is generally not justified economically in the region, but the Gold Coast, as a kind of extension of Manhattan, is exceptional,” he added. “The aggregate of Gold Coast hotels consistently posts occupancy rates in excess of 80 percent, and average rate has gained steadily in recent years.”

Roseland’s Port Imperial development spans two-and-a-half miles along the Hudson River and includes a waterfront walkway with parks. It is reportedly a key part of Mack-Cali’s recently announced three-year strategic plan to focus on high-end waterfront and transit-oriented properties.