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First-ever Marriott coming to the Bronx

Bronx Times

It’s not just a hotel, it’s a residence, and it’s coming to the Bronx.

A five-star Marriott Residence Inn is set for the east Bronx courtesy of a Bronx-bred developer.

Joseph Simone, head of Simone Development, struck a deal with the big hotel chain to open the seven-story hotel inside the Hutch Metro Center, a 42-acre complex housing a complex of offices, doctor’s offices and Mercy College.

Citing “a need” to build an extended stay hotel, Simone convinced Marriott to okay the project.

“There are no real luxury hotels like this in the area,” said Simone.

The closest quality hotels are in neigboring Westchester County or Manhattan.

But Simone sees those hotels as an inconvenience for out-of-towners doing business in the borough or visiting loved ones along “Medical Mile” where Calvary, Jacobi and Montefiore hospitals hug the massive landscape.

“This is a prime spot,” he said.

Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr. sees the hotel as a chance to lock in tourists to the borough.

“This new hotel could accommodate golfers when the Donald Trump golf course at Ferry Point Park in Throggs Neck is complete,” he noted.

Construction for the 300,000-square-foot Residence Inn is slated to begin next month and begin taking reservations in 2014.

Developers have named the site The Atrium, with the upper floors set aside for the quality hotel, and lower ones for office space, restaurants and an L.A. Fitness gym.

Lenny Caro, president of the Bronx Chamber of Commerce, which has offices at HMC, called the new hotel a symbol that Hutch Metro Center has arrived.

“You have to really cross your t’s and dot your i’s before Marriott comes here,” said Caro, thrilled to see the hotel chain arrive in the Bronx.

Simone agreed - “The Bronx truly is the comeback kid.”

While the Bronx has seen an uptick in medical and retail development, the borough is behind in brand-name hotels. The most familiar is a Howard Johnson in Highbridge.

Developers are trying to change that.

Hotelier Jay Domb is working on building a boutique hotel at The Hub’s shopping district in the old Bronx Opera House, while Borough President Diaz works to persuade developers to construct a brand-name hotel by the new Yankee Stadium.

At the moment, his office has targeted possibly locating on the site of one of the financially struggling parking garages at the stadium.

“Together these projects will help create new jobs and help our economy grow,” he said.

Reach reporter David Cruz at 718-742-3383 or dcruz@cnglocal.com.

David Cruz can be reach via e-mail at DCruz@cnglocal.com or by phone at (718) 742-3383

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