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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
December 1, 2003


MAYOR MICHAEL R. BLOOMBERG AND SMALL BUSINESS SERVICES COMMISSIONER ROBERT W. WALSH ANNOUNCE GRAND OPENING OF MANDARIN ORIENTAL, NEW YORK

New North American Flagship Hotel brings 389 New Jobs to New York City; Partnership with City Recruits 268 New Yorkers for Jobs

December 1, 2003 Press Release

Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg and Department of Small Business Services (SBS) Commissioner Robert W. Walsh today announced the opening of Mandarin Oriental, New York, the hotel group's new North American flagship hotel.  The new hotel is the first completed portion of the new Time Warner Center and brings 389 new jobs to the City, 268 of which are New Yorkers placed by SBS with assistance from the NYS Department of Labor.  Mandarin Oriental Hotel Group Chief Executive Edouard Ettedgui and New York General Manager Rudy Tauscher, City Council Member Gale Brewer, and The Related Companies Chairman & CEO Stephen M. Ross joined the Mayor and Commissioner Walsh at a ribbon-cutting ceremony to mark the grand opening of the hotel.

"The opening of this magnificent hotel in one of the City's newest destinations is a sign of great things to come for the new Time Warner Center, and also for small businesses in New York City," said Mayor Bloomberg. "The jobs that were filled by SBS and the State Department of Labor illustrates the City's commitment to help New Yorkers get jobs by working with the private sector to identify the needs of the market.  When we merged the Department of Employment with the Department of Small Business Services we put our job development programs in the one agency that works with the business community that is in turn creating the new jobs. These were the kinds of results we were looking for."

Mandarin Oriental, New York has 251 guestrooms and suites offering panoramic views of Central Park and the Hudson River. The hotel features a 6,000-square-foot pillar-less ballroom with three walls of windows providing stunning views overlooking Central Park, along with three additional meeting rooms for smaller executive meetings.  It will also house the restaurant Asiate, featuring savory French-Japanese fare designed by Chef de Cuisine, Nori Sugie.

The opening of Mandarin Oriental marks an historic public-private partnership whereby the City places individuals who need jobs in business sectors seeking employees. SBS and the State Department of Labor, in partnership with City Council Member Gale Brewer and Mandarin Oriental, placed 268 New Yorkers from all five boroughs in 69% of these newly created positions. Of the New Yorkers recently hired, 94 reside in Queens, 90 reside in Manhattan, 44 reside in Brooklyn, 36 reside in the Bronx, and 4 reside in Staten Island. SBS is also recruiting for other businesses moving into the Time Warner Center.

"By taking a proactive approach and listening to the needs of businesses we can more efficiently link our workforce to new jobs," said Commissioner Walsh.  "We will continue to seek out businesses who need workers and we want businesses who are opening or expanding in the City to look to us as a valuable resource."

"This is a good example of how the private and public sectors can come together to create jobs and ensure that qualified New Yorkers obtain the employment they seek," said NYC Regional Administrator of the NYS Department of Labor John H. Harloff. "I look forward to continue working with the City of New York and other employers to replicate this successful initiative."

"I am proud that our efforts to employ West Siders and New Yorkers were so successful that they will be replicated," said City Council Member Gale Brewer.  "I thank all of the individuals who worked hard to make these jobs for New Yorkers a reality."

"Mandarin Oriental is especially pleased to have forged the strong and lasting partnerships with the City of New York that have contributed to the development of our hotel, and helped to bring employment opportunities to New York," said Mandarin Oriental Hotel Group Chief Executive Edouard Ettedgui.  "Recruiting from the diverse culture and collective sophistication of local residents, we have assembled a staff of the very finest ambassadors of New York City energy, warmth and hospitality."

"We worked closely with the City, New York City Councilmember Gale Brewer and Time Warner Center's developer to ensure that the new Time Warner Center plays an important role in the revitalization of the City's economy," said Gerri Warren-Merrick, Vice President for Time Warner's Corporate Community Relations.  "We are committed to contributing to the community as a business and as a neighbor."

By merging the Department of Employment with the Department of Small Business Services, the City took a targeted approach to connect individuals with available jobs. SBS works to identify demand and design training to meet the needs of specific employers. One-Stop Centers, the hallmark of SBS's Workforce Development Division, take individuals and work with them to give them the skills they need to be job-ready. Currently, there are three locations throughout New York City: in Jamaica, Queens, the South Bronx, Upper Manhattan, and an affiliate is located in Lower Manhattan. SBS plans to open One-Stop Centers in Brooklyn and Staten Island by the spring of 2004.

Located at Columbus Circle, Mandarin Oriental, New York will have breathtaking views of Central Park, the Hudson River and the sparkling lights of Midtown and beyond.  As part of the new, mixed-use Time Warner Center, the hotel will be situated in the center's north building, 280 feet above ground, and ideally located near some of the city's best shops, restaurants, and performance centers.



  Edward Skyler / Jennifer Falk (212) 788-2958
Ethan Davidson (SBS) (212) 513-6318