26-story, $65 million modular tower plan marks turning point for industry confidence in prefabrication
The world’s tallest modular hotel – which will carry a brand of Marriott International (NASDAQ:MAR) – is on track to be stacked in late fall in New York City with prefabricated and pre-furnished guestrooms. Once erected over a 90-day period, the 360-foot-tall tower will represent a milestone for Marriott’s ongoing initiative to encourage hotel developers in North America to embrace modular for new construction projects. To be topped with a modular roof and modular rooftop bar, the world’s tallest modular hotel is expected to open in late 2020 as the AC Hotel New York NoMad.
“In North America, the construction process hasn’t changed significantly in 150 years and it’s ripe for innovation,” said Eric Jacobs, Marriott International, Chief Development Officer, North America, Select and Extended Stay Brands. “The world’s tallest modular hotel in one of the world’s greatest destinations will act as a game-changing symbol to ignite even greater interest in modular among the real estate and lending industries.”
Fully finished guest rooms
The 168-room, 26-story AC Hotel New York NoMad is scheduled to rise at 842 Sixth Avenue with prefabricated guestrooms arriving at the hotel site fully constructed, inside and out. Besides finished, painted walls, each “module” will contain a fully outfitted guest room – with beds, sheets, pillows, flooring and even toiletries. The hotel’s roof and rooftop bar are expected to be produced using modular construction, and its more customized public areas such as the restaurant and lobby are expected to be constructed using traditional methods.
Prefabrication is a process that Marriott has found typically reduces the construction timeline, curbs site waste and noise, and results in a higher-quality product produced with factory level precision. The time savings comes from the ability to perform two crucial functions simultaneously – building the public spaces on site while manufacturing the guest rooms offsite.
"This is the moment where modular construction takes center stage," says Danny Forster, a leading modular building advocate whose firm, Danny Forster & Architecture, designed the project. As he explains it, "This hotel takes every advantage of off-site manufacturing, as you might expect. But it does so in a way that defies expectation. We wanted to demonstrate that modular building can do more than just harness the efficiencies of the factory. It can produce a graceful and iconic tower. And yes, it can do so at the rate of an entire floor a day."
Marriott sees a modular future
Marriott, which has the largest pipeline of hotels in North America, began researching modular construction in 2014 to offset lengthening hotel construction times – a trend attributed to the nation’s building boom and resulting labor shortages. Since 2011, Marriott has seen the average time to build and open a hotel in North America increase by as much 50 percent, depending on factors such as location and size of property.
Since 2015, Marriott has been educating owners, franchisees, architects, lenders, consultants, general contractors and other stakeholders across the industry about the benefits of modular by hosting town halls, factory tours and stacking events. The company also worked with leading modular manufacturers to help them better understand the untapped demand that hotel development companies represent.
Since the launch of Marriott’s initiative, the company’s development partners in North America have opened 31 Marriott-brand hotels – all low-rise structures – that incorporate prefabricated guestrooms and/or bathrooms, including a Fairfield by Marriott Inn & Suites in Folsom, Calif.; a Courtyard by Marriott in Pullman, Wash., and three AC Hotels in Oklahoma City, Louisville, Ky., and Chapel Hill, N.C. To date, the largest Marriott-branded modular-built to open is the 354-room, dual-brand Courtyard and TownePlace Suites by Marriott property in Hawthorne, Calif., while the first to also incorporate a prefabricated elevator bank was the Fairfield by Marriott Inn & Suites in Prairie, Wisc. Later this year, a developer will start stacking the first modular-built Moxy hotel in the United States in downtown Oakland, Calif.
The company continues efforts to support developers interested in leveraging prefabrication, most recently launching modular versions of its prototypes for four of its higher-volume brands: Courtyard by Marriott, Fairfield by Marriott, SpringHill Suites by Marriott and TownePlace Suites by Marriott. Underscoring its commitment to igniting demand for modular construction, Marriott this year is offering an incentive to development companies that leverage prefabrication for guestroom construction.
Note on Forward-Looking Statements: This news release contains “forward-looking statements” within the meaning of federal securities laws, including the number of lodging properties the company may add in this and future years, the number of jobs that may be created in this and future years, and similar statements concerning possible future events or expectations that are not historical facts. We caution you that these statements are not guarantees of future performance and are subject to a number of risks and uncertainties, including changes in market conditions; changes in global and regional economies; supply and demand changes for hotel rooms; competitive conditions in the lodging industry; relationships with clients and property owners; the availability of capital to finance hotel growth and refurbishment; and other risk factors that the company identifies in its most recent annual report on Form 10-K or quarterly report on Form 10-Q; any of which could cause actual results to differ materially from the expectations we express or imply here. We make these statements as of the date of this press release, and we assume no obligation to publicly update or revise any forward-looking statement, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise.
Marriott International, Inc.
Marriott International, Inc. (NASDAQ: MAR) is based in Bethesda, Maryland, USA, and encompasses a portfolio of more than 7,000 properties in 30 leading hotel brands spanning 130 countries and territories. Marriott operates and franchises hotels and licenses vacation ownership resorts all around the world. The company now offers one travel program, Marriott Bonvoy™, replacing Marriott Rewards®, The Ritz-Carlton Rewards®, and Starwood Preferred Guest®(SPG). For more information, please visit our website at www.marriott.com, and for the latest company news, visit www.marriottnewscenter.com. In addition, connect with us on Facebook and @MarriottIntl on Twitter and Instagram.
About AC Hotels by Marriott
AC Hotels by Marriott®, a lifestyle brand that celebrates a new way to hotel complemented by a European soul and Spanish roots, boasts more than 125 design-led hotels in 15 countries and territories. Design-driven AC Hotels by Marriott® edit away the unnecessary to remove friction, providing thoughtfully designed moments of beauty, allowing guests to focus on what’s important to them. The properties modern design for modern business include buzzing AC Lounges, the perfect place for locals or visitors to get work done in style or to enjoy handcrafted cocktails and tapas. High-design guest rooms and public spaces with sleek furnishings and intuitive technology features such as the Media Salons and AC Libraries inspire and connect. For more information, visit ac-hotels.com. For more information, visit http://achotels.marriott.com and follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. AC Hotels by Marriott® is proud to participate in Marriott Bonvoy, the new name of Marriott’s travel program replacing Marriott Rewards®, The Ritz- Carlton Rewards®, and Starwood Preferred Guest® (SPG). The program offers members an extraordinary portfolio of global brands, experiences on Marriott Bonvoy Moments and unparalleled benefits including earning points toward free hotel stays and nights toward Elite status recognition. To enroll for free or for more information about the program, visit MarriottBonvoy.marriott.com.