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.
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
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