Marriott to Open the World’s Tallest Modular Construction Hotel in New York

Main Photo: The AC Hotel New York NoMad, imagined (Design and photo credit: Danny Forster & Architecture).

Date: April 2019

Location: 842 Sixth Avenue, New York, NY, USA

Name: The AC Hotel New York NoMad – opening autumn 2020

No. of Keys: 168

Was: TBA

Buyer: TBA

The hotel’s rooms are being constructed offsite, with pre-fabricated and pre-furnished guestrooms. and craned into place. Marriott is encouraging developers and investors to adopt modern methods of construction, to avoid labour shortages and speed up completions.

Once erected over a 90-day period, the 360-foot-tall tower, to be topped with a modular roof and modular rooftop bar, will represent a milestone for Marriott’s ongoing initiative to encourage hotel developers in North America to embrace modular for new construction projects.

“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.”

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 customised 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 centre 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, 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 labour 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 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,

Later this year, a developer will start stacking the first modular-built Moxy hotel in the United States in downtown Oakland, Calif.

Price: Undisclosed

THPT Comment: Modular must be the way forward to keep construction costs down, to be reflected in the guest room rate. Great to see Marriott lead the way in the US. We have seen early examples in the UK and we know of an initiative about to be launched in India.

First Seen: Marriott website

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