The New Coney Island - Brooklyn's Times Square by the Sea

Thursday, September 19, 2013

USA Today - Downtown Brooklyn Gets New, Hip Hotels

Excerpt -

NEW YORK -- Brooklyn's year-old Barclays Center has drawn the likes of Jay-Z and Barbra Streisand, the Brooklyn Nets and this year's MTV Video Music Awards.

The arena is part of a larger complex called Atlantic Yards, which will soon be filled with residential, office and retail space. Throw in a thriving arts and cultural scene anchored by the Brooklyn Academy of Music, plus a dozen or so universities, and you've got a hotel developer's dream.

"It's an underserved market," says Hung Luk, chief operating officer of the Lam Group, which has developed InterContinental Hotels Group's Hotel Indigo, officially opening today in downtown Brooklyn.

Brooklyn has become the hottest New York City outer borough in the last few years, but much of the activity has been concentrated in Williamsburg, a subway stop away from lower Manhattan. Now, development is spreading throughout the borough, making Brooklyn a primary destination rather than a second thought for travelers visiting New York City. For city residents, it can also be a more affordable place to live, with easy access to Manhattan.

"Hotel Indigo is just the latest in a series of new hotels exploding onto the Brooklyn scene, and it's easy to see why," says Brooklyn Borough President Marty Markowitz. " Whether business or pleasure, Brooklyn is tops by any measure in offering memorable opportunities to guests, from shopping and dining to culture and the arts."

Right now, there aren't enough hotels to house those guests, city officials and developers say.

Gregory Atkins, project manager of a 200-room lifestyle hotel near the Barclays Center planned by Second Development Services, says Brooklyn has 4,000 hotel rooms for 2.6 million people. "Take your average Midwestern small city. How many hotel (rooms) do they have? They have more than Brooklyn," he says. "There's a tremendous market demand for Brooklyn alone."

From January 2011 through this June, 13 of the 53 hotels that opened in New York City were in Brooklyn, according to NYC & Company, the city's official marketing and tourism organization. Another eight are expected to open in Brooklyn by 2016.

The New York Marriott at the Brooklyn Bridge in downtown Brooklyn, a large full-service hotel, had long dominated the borough's hotel market. Then Williamsburg landed two boutique hotels: the 72-room Wythe Hotel and the 64-room King & Grove Williamsburg.

Now, developers are looking to other parts of Brooklyn that are as up-and-coming as Williamsburg once was, such as Bushwick and Sunset Park, where the 76-room Hotel BPM, named for the musical term "beats per minute," opened last year.

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