THE CHALLENGE

In 2013, New Castle Hotels & Resorts ("NCH") participated in the nationally recognized urban revitalization of downtown Syracuse's historic Armory Square district.  This urban infill opportunity presented several challenges including maximizing the existing land use (formerly a parking lot) to fit within the expanding Armory Square neighborhood of retail, restaurants and businesses.  Additionally, brand selection was a critical component to successfully creating the leading hotel in this overlooked market.

THE SOLUTION

Given the scale of the project, NCH identified the value proposition of creating a dual-branded hotel under one roof.  We secured franchise rights to Marriott's Courtyard and Residence Inn brands and teamed up with local businessman Richard Sykes for development. The 102-key Courtyard by Marriott and the 78-key Residence Inn by Marriott, share several features allowing the hotels to maximize efficiencies and offer more services to accommodate both the transient and extended stay guests.  We worked with the Syracuse Industrial Development Agency to secure favorable tax incentives.

THE RESULTS

The $30 million project was the first new build hotel in the city center in more than five decades, and is Syracuse's largest, non-office building construction of the past 25 years.  With this project, NCH established itself firmly at the forefront of the emerging trend of dual-brand properties.  The dual-branding model maximizes investment returns for owners and caters to a broader range of customer preferences.  The Courtyard and Residence Inn quickly became the market leaders and stabilized in their first year of operations, exceeding the proforma expectations by 150%.  In late 2015, the partnership sold the hotels to a public hotel REIT for $42M ($233/key) and NCH was retained as manager.  The hotels remain #1 in the market for RevPAR index to date.   NCH has two additional dual-branded properties under development including the Courtyard/Residence Inn Dartmouth Crossing (Q2 2019) and the Courtyard/Residence Inn Jekyll Island (2021).  If you have a project that could benefit from New Castle's expertise, please contact Julian Buffam at +1(203) 447-7010 or via email at julianbuffam@newcastlehotels.com.