Waldorf=Astoria to open in Philadelphia

Philadelphia and Beverly Hills, Calif. -- Oct. 30, 2008 -- Waldorf=Astoria Hotels™, one of the luxury brands of Hilton Hotels Corporation, along with Mariner Commercial Properties, Inc. of Ardmore, Pa., Brook J. Lenfest and Dallas-based Gatehouse Capital Corporation announced today the development of the Waldorf=Astoria® Hotel and Residences Philadelphia to be managed by an affiliate of Hilton Hotels Corporation.

Tim Mahoney, President and CEO of Mariner, and Brook Lenfest partnered in 2000 to acquire the site located at the northeast corner of 15th and Chestnut Streets. In October of 2007, Mariner joined forces with Gatehouse Capital Corporation to co-develop this $420 million hotel-anchored mixed-use project. The development will unite the legendary luxury and tradition of the Waldorf=Astoria brand with the historic streets of Philadelphia.

"This development emphasizes our commitment to strengthen and cultivate our portfolio of one-of-a kind properties in a variety of destinations across the globe," said Ross Klein, Global Head of Luxury and Lifestyle Brands, HHC. "The introduction of The Waldorf=Astoria Hotel and Residences in Philadelphia underscores an aggressive growth strategy that will bring these authentic and unique guest experiences into markets where there is significant growth potential in the luxury and lifestyle sectors. The Waldorf=Astoria Hotel and Residences Philadelphia will bring to life the core values of our original Manhattan property -- 'The Greatest of Them All' -- through its distinct character and location."

Standing at 670 feet tall, the 58-story Waldorf=Astoria Hotel and Residences Philadelphia will be the city's sixth-tallest building as well as its tallest mixed-use hotel and residential project. The classically contemporary granite and glass tower is to be designed by Cope Linder Architects of Philadelphia. As a newly constructed property, the hotel will have a variety of opportunities to support a sustainable footprint. A small sample of the many sustainable practices designed to be utilized in the project include: vegetative roof systems; one of the first U.S. hotel installations of an active chilled beam HVAC system; and an unprecedented degree of building automation through a unique venture with Johnson Controls, Inc., the world's leader in building automation technologies and building system integration.

"Philadelphia is a beautiful, historically significant city and truly epitomizes everything that is classic about the Waldorf=Astoria brand," said Mahoney, President and CEO of Mariner Commercial Properties. "The fact that Hilton Hotels Corporation has selected Philadelphia as one of the first locations for its luxury Waldorf=Astoria Hotels brand only serves to underscore the point."

To ensure that the Waldorf=Astoria project meets the developers' high benchmark for sustainability while enhancing the luxury experience for residents and guests, the Mariner/Gatehouse development team retained Re:Vision Architects of Philadelphia, one of the leading LEED consultants in the country.

"We're convinced that being sustainable can enhance the guest experience and, surprisingly, we've found no shortage of extremely high-quality and innovative building products to use in this project from some of the most prominent and respected names in the industry," said Mahoney.

The Waldorf=Astoria Philadelphia will feature 136 residences in total with prices starting at $1 million. 128 semi-custom luxury residences will feature generous one-, two-, and three-bedroom floor plans and a selection of incomparable finishes. Eight custom Bi-Level Penthouses will showcase internal private elevators, grand staircases, large gracious floor plans and some of the highest walkout terraces in the city.

"The Philadelphia real estate market has seen a surge of new luxury housing in recent years, but The Waldorf=Astoria Philadelphia will be the first vertically integrated mixed-use building that offers residents and guests alike the same 5-star treatment and access to the hotel's finest amenities," said Mahoney.

Waldorf=Astoria Philadelphia residents will enjoy a private Lobby on Chestnut Street with private elevator banks, a residents-only Club Room and private on-site storage. They will also benefit from the hotel's amenities, such as 24-hour room service, a knowledgeable staff of professional concierges, housekeeping service, babysitting service, pet care, a 14,000-square-foot spa & Precor® Fitness Center with a luxurious indoor pool, a state-of-the-art conference center, two cocktail lounges, two restaurants and a seasonal outdoor restaurant and cocktail terrace.

The Waldorf=Astoria Hotel Philadelphia will feature 175 spacious and exquisitely appointed guest rooms. The interior design of the hotel rooms, spa, public spaces and residences is being led by Frank Nicholson of Frank Nicholson Inc. of Boston who specializes exclusively in the design of top market luxury hotels and residences around the world, including landmark properties in Tokyo, Boston, Miami and Kuwait as well as Palm Beach, Florida.

"What really sets this project apart is the unprecedented level of luxury we are offering our guests and residents," said Marty Collins, President of Gatehouse Capital. "The Waldorf=Astoria Philadelphia will be the perfect sophisticated and stylish accompaniment to what is already one of the most established cities in the world. It is an iconic project for a legendary brand in a city with a storied past."

Hotel guests will be welcomed into a richly appointed hotel lobby on the Chestnut Street level and directed to a dramatic sky lobby 155 feet above street level which will be the heart of the Hotel. A promenade will connect the two restaurants at the east and west ends of the building, paying homage to the Peacock Alley lobby promenade in the namesake New York hotel. The 10th floor of the hotel will offer a 5,600-square-foot column-free day-lit Jewel Box Ballroom, 3,500 square feet of pre-function space overlooking City Hall, and a 2,500-square-foot Junior Ballroom that can be divided into smaller meeting rooms. Retail space is planned for a 7,000-square-foot fine dining restaurant on Chestnut Street and a 2,140-square-foot retail boutique on the corner of 15th & Chestnut streets. A 350-car valet garage will be located on floors 2 through 8, and it is planned that residents will also have complimentary access to a small fleet of hybrid or electric vehicles for personal use.

"When it opens in 2012, the Waldorf=Astoria Philadelphia Hotel and Residences will set new standards for sustainable luxury," said Collins. "It will be a magnificent building at the center of America's first great city. Residents and guests will have the city and all of its finest at their fingertips."

 

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