FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
January 20, 2005
MAYOR MICHAEL R. BLOOMBERG HOSTS GROUNDBREAKING CEREMONY FOR THE EXPANSION OF THE NEW YORK MARRIOTT AT THE BROOKLYN BRIDGE
Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg, Marriott Northeast Region Senior Vice President Steve Sharple and Muss Development Company President & CEO Joshua Muss today hosted a groundbreaking ceremony to kick-off the expansion of the New York Marriott at the Brooklyn Bridge, and to salute the growing convention and tourism business in Downtown Brooklyn. The 24-story expansion will create 280 additional rooms for a total of 656 guest rooms as well as premium retail space along Adams Street. The pedestrian plaza between Adams and Jay Streets will be improved with new street furniture, lighting and landscaping. A two-level pedestrian bridge will link the expansion to the existing hotel. Construction is expected to be complete in Fall 2006. Brooklyn Borough President Marty Markowitz, Council Members David Yassky and Letitia James, District Attorney Charles Hynes, Economic Development Corporation President Andrew M. Alper and NYC & Company President & CEO Cristyne L. Nicholas attended the event in Renaissance Plaza in Downtown Brooklyn.
"An expanded Marriott hotel will not only add capacity to one of the City's busiest hotels but will also support Brooklyn's growing convention and tourism business, which is increasingly vital to the area's growth," said Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg. "This $77 million project will add 280 rooms, produce 600 construction jobs and more than 100 permanent jobs, and will generate millions in new tax revenue. Our City's tourism industry is booming. A new all-time high of 39.6 million people visited New York last year, generating $23 billion in business activity and supporting more than a quarter-million jobs. Visitors are coming here in record numbers because we're making the City - and Brooklyn - cleaner, safer, and more exciting every day. Marriott's renewed commitment to the area is just another sign that our five-borough economic development strategy is working by extending our city of opportunity to people and businesses in every borough - and making New York the world's most exciting place to live, work and visit."
"The banquet and meeting space provided at the New York Marriott at the Brooklyn Bridge have proven almost as important as the outstanding guest rooms," said Mr. Sharple of Marriott International. "They provide a superb venue for corporate meetings and social events, as well as trade association meetings and conferences, and educational and cultural institutions."
"The development reflects the cooperation of the city administration, the participation of our lenders, the enthusiasm and professionalism of the Marriott Corporation and the underlying spirit and vitality of downtown Brooklyn," said Mr. Muss. "I am particularly grateful to Mayor Bloomberg and EDC President Andrew Alper for their leadership and to Borough President Markowitz for his unwavering dedication and support."
"The expansion of the New York Marriott at the Brooklyn Bridge demonstrates the strength and growth of our City's tourism industry," said NYC & Company's Cristyne Nicholas. "Efforts to encourage travel to all five boroughs are reflected in the activities of the nearly 40 million visitors that come to New York each year. Today's investments in tourism infrastructure in Brooklyn - from the Marriott to the cruise line terminals at Red Hook - will create jobs and opportunity for future generations."
Designated "Marriott Hotel of the Year" two years in a row (2000 and 2001), the Brooklyn Marriott rated higher than any of the 300 full-service hotels in the chain. Based on surveys of customer satisfaction, associate satisfaction and sales, it continues to receive outstanding marks. The additional sleeping rooms will enable the hotel to reach out to long-lead groups and convention business, while remaining flexible to meet local needs and provide availability for individual business travelers as well as leisure travelers.
Located within Renaissance Plaza, and adjacent to the MetroTech Center, Brooklyn's courthouses, municipal buildings, surrounding universities and major tourist attractions, the New York Marriott at the Brooklyn Bridge is within five minutes of the sights and sounds of Manhattan, Wall Street and the financial district, with nine major subway lines all within one block. In addition, the expanded hotel will be able to service the growing numbers of passengers flowing into New York City's ports when the new cruise terminal opens on the Brooklyn waterfront. The Mayor announced earlier this month that the terminal would be operational in late 2005. The New York Marriott at the Brooklyn Bridge is the first and only full service hotel in Brooklyn. When it opened in 1998, it was the first new hotel to be built in Brooklyn in 64 years.
"The Brooklyn Marriott's decision to expand proves that the business community along with the tourism industry in Brooklyn is growing by leaps and bounds," said Borough President Markowitz. "The additional space will mean that even more people will be able to enjoy our world-class restaurants and museums, unique neighborhoods and, of course, experience the long-standing reputation of Brooklynites being reserved, subtle and polite."
"Renewed interest in Downtown Brooklyn, rising property values, and the hard work of dedicated community members has led to plans for several new large-scale construction projects in the area," said Councilmember Yassky. "The expansion will continue to help Downtown Brooklyn's revitalization."
"I support the expansion of the New York Marriott at the Brooklyn Bridge," said Councilmember James. "The hotel industry has done a lot to address the high rate of unemployment within communities of color through their outreach efforts, and has been an excellent corporate neighbor by also including minority businesses in their development and construction phases. I welcome the addition."
The Marriott Expansion is part of the Administration's Plans to grow Downtown Brooklyn into a 24 hour, mixed-use district. This initiative, which includes a recently approved Downtown Brooklyn rezoning, the Atlantic Yards and the BAM Local Development Corporation's cultural planning process will result in the creation of almost 7 million square feet of office space, 5,500 mixed-income apartments, over 1 million square feet of retail, a 19,000 seat arena and the expansion of the Brooklyn Academy of Music Cultural District.
Edward Skyler / Jennifer Falk (212) 788-2958
Michael Sherman / Janel Patterson (Economic Development Corporation)
Lloyd Kaplan/Roberta Lee (for Muss) (212) 575-4545
Watch the press conference in 56k or 300k