Developer of W Hotel plans chain in Tempe

The developer behind the swanky W Hotel plans to start a new hotel chain in downtown Tempe. Constellation Property Group wants to work the new hotel brand into a pair of condo towers it’s about to start building at the site of a former Arizona National Guard Armory at Fifth Street and College Avenue.

The changes will mean fewer condos downtown, but that’s not a concern to city officials.

The unnamed hotel will make the development more lively by attracting more people and events, said Chris Anaradian, Tempe’s development services manager.

“It’s not just two condo towers sitting away from the public,” he said. “There’s a new destination point. It’s not just about where a couple hundred people live.”

Constellation originally called the project the Armory lofts, which it considered a placeholder name referring to the military building that once stood at the site. Now, it’s called Stadium Towers.

It includes a 20-story, 225-foot building and a second tow- er of about 15 floors.

The hotel also will generate more tax revenue than condos.

The Stadium Towers project will remain mostly condos, but Constellation isn’t revealing many other details yet. The Australian-based company, with offices in San Diego, will unveil more information later this month, company spokeswoman Melinda Speck said.

The hotel will change the character of the condos, Speck said, because residents can tap into concierge services that a hotel provides. The cost of that would be high without a hotel, she said, but this allows the condo owners to piggyback on services the hotel is already providing.

“This is a fabulous way to provide services that a condominium-only project couldn’t do,” Speck said.

The hotel requires only minor changes to the design, which the city approved in October. Speck said she couldn’t say when construction is scheduled to begin, but Constellation had planned a May start when it won approval.

Garin Groff, Tribune

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