The W Scottsdale will have 224 rooms, 18 luxury condominiums and a window-bottom swimming pool above the porte cochere so new arrivals can check out current guests before checking in.
On Nov. 30, developerowner Triyar Cos. plans to break ground on the hip, New York-based hotel brand — the long-awaited confirmation that downtown Scottsdale is an urban, rather than suburban, destination.
The W is slated to rise seven stories from its site on Camelback Road, a block east of Scottsdale Road, and open July 1, 2007, said Triyar Hospitality CEO Michael Mahoney.
W Residences, the condo portion of the project, will take up the seventh story and half of the sixth, Mahoney said. The 18 units planned are only half the number originally proposed when the W was announced in July 2004.
Mahoney said that isn’t because of lack of demand.
"We already have a list of more than 150 people who have registered interest in the condos," Mahoney said. "We made them larger because these condos will be first and second homes — no rental pools."
Only two will be one-bedroom units, he said. The other 16 will have two or three bedrooms and range in size from 1,000 to 2,500 square feet.
Mahoney said the company hasn’t determined the price range for the hotel homes yet.
The condo owners get to share the W’s amenities, including use of the Bliss Spa, the indoor-outdoor fitness center, the window-bottom pool surrounded by a sandy beach, a couple of bars and an upscale restaurant.
While Ws typically attract top name restaurateurs, Mahoney said he is not ready to announce the Scottsdale inn’s operator.
The W brand is known for certain amenities — minimalist but luxurious guest room decor with goose-down comforters, hi-tech connections and entertainment systems, plasma TVs and munchie boxes. But everything else about the brand varies with the location.
The W Scottsdale hotel’s lobby will be dramatic, with a "floating grand staircase," and a 70-foot long "art wall," Mahoney said. But the outside decor will be more subdued in color than rival James Hotel, which opened two years ago south of the W site.
All W hotels are designed to be compatible with their surroundings, Mahoney said. He described the Scottsdale version’s decor as "traditional colors, contemporary style and a sophisticated look."
There are 20 W hotels now and 13 more, including Scottsdale and a Phoenix version, on the drawing board.
The Phoenix hotel, still in early planning stages, will have "a different theme, a different clientele and a different business environment," said Siddharth Narang, W Hotels’ senior corporate director for acquisitions and development.
The architecture of the Scottsdale W will change as people open and close six-foot by eight-foot, sliding-louvered shutters, Mahoney said.
Starwood, which owns the W brand, along with Sheraton, Westin and a luxury hotel collection that includes The Phoenician, likes the location, Narang said.
"Starwood has a lot of presence in that market, all pristine resorts," he said.
"It’s a market we strongly believe in. While we think of Scottsdale as sprawling resorts, it’s maturing into an alternative destination. The W ought to be in Scottsdale."
Triyar, which also owns the property nearly across the road from the W site, on the northeast corner of Camelback and Scottsdale roads, has plans to replace an old gas station with an office and retail complex that will open about the same time as the W, Mahoney said.
He’s not concerned about competition from the Scottsdale Waterfront, the complex of office, retail and residential buildings opening sooner on the southwest corner of the intersection.
"We’ve always believed in Scottsdale," Mahoney said.
"The city has done a fabulous job of maintaining its scale and creating the infrastructure to absorb development."