With a quick commute by ferry across the river to Manhattan, breathtaking skyline views, and abutting rail and bus stops, the Weehawken waterfront seems an ideal spot for new hotels – and a pair will be opening up in two years.
In a press conference on the waterfront on Wednesday morning, Mayor Richard Turner and a host of officials and developers announced that over the next two years, developers will build two connecting Marriott hotels there: a 226-room Renaissance by Marriott and a 154-room Residence Inn (for extended stays).
The hotel complex will be erected over an existing five-story garage that opened this summer, and will be adjacent to the Port Imperial Ferry Terminal.
Each hotel will have its own entrance and lobby, but they will be connected on the sixth floor. Guests will share access to the outdoor terrace, pool, fitness center, a high-end restaurant on the sixth floor, and a function space for up to 750 seated guests.
Roseland Development, which built the existing garage, entered into a contract to sell the air rights for the space above the garage to the hotel developer. The developer is a partnership of Portsmouth, N.H.-based XSS Hotels and Colwen Management.
The hotels will be connected via the sixth floor.
Also, Turner said, residents will soon be able to park at 170 spaces in the 850-spot parking garage overnight, for a fee. The fee will help offset a shuttle Turner said the town will run to the garage.
“It’s a great day,” Turner said. “It brings a lot of benefits to Weehawken.”
It was also a great day, Turner noted, because of the scores of Planning Board meetings that took place to approve the waterfront plan that included the hotels and residential projects. The full waterfront concept for that area was approved in 2001.
Roseland principal Carl Goldberg said that considering the transportation, amenities, and view, “The hotels will set a new standard for luxury along the Hudson waterfront.”
Leo Xarras, a partner in XSS Hotels, also cited those benefits. He added, “We look forward to the beginning of construction and to being a part of the Weehawken business community for years to come.”
Mitchell Hersh, president and CEO of Mack-Cali, which acquired Roseland, said, “As the master developer of Port Imperial, the Mack-Cali Roseland team has worked hard to bring the highest quality housing and retail available to this ever-growing section of the New Jersey Gold Coast.”
Weehawken currently has only one other hotel – a Sheraton in the Lincoln Harbor development, located to the south of Port Imperial. Neighboring Hoboken also has only one hotel, a W Hotel on the waterfront. The surrounding towns of Secaucus, North Bergen, and Jersey City have several hotels and motels apiece.
The Renaissance will include a function space for up to 750 seated guests, a lounge, and breakfast space and a 30,000 square foot outdoor terrace with views of the Hudson River and Manhattan skyline.
The Residence Inn will feature large guest rooms with a fully-equipped in-suite kitchen, and free daily hot breakfast. The typical “extended stay” customer remains there for four to five nights.
The hotels are located within Port Imperial, a 200-acre, $2 billion master-planned community that stretches two miles along the Hudson River, including West New York and Weehawken.
The project is located 500 Avenue at Port Imperial.
Caren Matzner can be reached at email@example.com