According to Roseland Properties president and CEO Carl Goldberg, the 294-room, nine-story hotel complex will also feature more than 15,000 square feet of retail space as well as better than 5,000 square feet of office space.
The major Roseland Properties development got underway four years ago with the construction of 44 luxury brownstone townhouses and continued recently with the construction of more residential units, 174 units called Henley on the Hudson, as well as the new Weehawken waterfront recreational area and park that officially opened last month.
Now, with those commitments out of the way, Roseland can concentrate on completing the proposed $700 million development project and the new Wyndham luxury hotel is the first step.
"One of the major components we wanted to have to make it truly a mixed use project was to have a four-star hotel. Wyndham is certainly that four-star flag hotel that we were looking for," Goldberg said. "It's a very high level hotel and one that will help give the entire development a true identity in Weehawken. It's going to be a full service facility, used for conventions, fine dining, meetings, functions like weddings and bar and bat mitzvahs. We're pleased to have Wyndham become a part of the Weehawken waterfront. This will be one of Wyndham's premier locations."
Easy access to NY
Goldberg said that there was no time table for the construction, which should begin shortly.
"I expect it will be under construction for the bulk of 2008, but I really don't know how long it will take," Goldberg said.
The Weehawken Wyndham will be built directly next to the NY Waterway ferry terminal, giving hotel guests easy access to the Manhattan-bound ferries and will be within walking distance of NJ Transit's Hudson-Bergen Light Rail service.
Goldberg said that the Wyndham just might draw visitors who generally stay in midtown Manhattan.
"The hotel gets helped by the adjacency of the ferry terminal," Goldberg said. "You can get the convenience of staying in midtown Manhattan with the luxury of staying in Weehawken in a simple commute. You could easily get to a meeting in downtown Manhattan and get to an appointment in midtown. You can take advantage of a Manhattan skyline view with all the convenience of being in midtown Manhattan. It's really an ideal location and will function brilliantly either for business or vacation."
Retail, restaurants planned
It also gives the rest of the Port Imperial South project instant credibility as the first new company to sign an agreement with Roseland Properties.
"What it does is give the project a great member tenant and that will lead to a lot of quality retail companies, especially restaurants, to want to come here, because they know a lot of other things are going on at Port Imperial, both in Weehawken and West New York," Goldberg said. "It's a huge catalyst for us to achieve the office space limit that was originally planned. It's a major component of the whole mixed use approach of commercial and residential. It's terrific for the people of Weehawken."
Since the deal with Wyndham was secured last week, Goldberg said that he already received a commitment from a high-profile restaurant, but he could not release the name of the pending client until an official deal was signed.
"Aside from the economic standpoint, it speaks to real quality of life you find in Weehawken," Goldberg said. "It adds to the fabric of the neighborhood. I'm very pleased to get Wyndham to come here, especially with the current economic climate. It speaks volumes to the desirability of the Weehawken waterfront. Wyndham is the hotel flag we wanted to bring to Weehawken."
Second phase underway
Goldberg said that he was very pleased to be able to begin the second phase of the project with the announcement of the Wyndham hotel. The Port Imperial South project has been in the works since the initial planning stages back in 1994, so getting a jump on the second phase of the development project is finally taking shape.
"We've made slow and steady progress over the last few years," Goldberg said. "We've made a lot of progress in Weehawken and West New York and we're ready for the project to reach its full potential."
Weehawken Mayor Richard Turner welcomed the idea of having the Wyndham Hotel chain come to the township.
"I think it's a great benefit to Weehawken," Turner said. "It's a perfect location with the general proximity to mass transit. It will have minimal impact on traffic. Because of all of that, you can't any better location. I expect it will be a tremendous positive addition to the waterfront."
The area was originally given approval for an office facility, but Roseland came back to the Weehawken Planning Board about six months ago, seeking approval for a hotel, which made more sense.
"It's a plus in many ways," Turner said. "A hotel is no drain on the municipal resources. It's initially a major ratable and then we will receive a tremendous amount in hotel tax revenues. We're just fortunate to get a hotel of this quality to come to the town. One of the hidden benefits is that it will be a place for residents to go and enjoy themselves as well."
When it is finished, more than likely by 2009, the Weehawken Wyndham will be the second luxury hotel in the township, joining the Sheraton Suites that has been a part of Lincoln Harbor for the last decade.
Jim Hague can be reached via e-mail at either OGSMAR@aol.com or email@example.com