UPDATED, Jan. 18, 3:04 p.m.: George Xu’s Century Development Group is moving ahead with plans to bring a 250-key Westin hotel to Downtown Flushing, the developer told The Real Deal.
The developer signed a franchise agreement in December with Starwood Hotels & Resorts , which will operate the hotel. The proposed building at 137-61 Northern Boulevard will include 50 apartments above the hotel, and rise either 12 or 13 stories, Xu said.
The plans expand on a 2014 proposal for a 190-key hotel at the property, designed by Raymond Chan Architect. Those drawings called for a 215,000-square-foot building with 40,000 square feet of residential, 104,000 square feet reserved for the hotel, and 19,000 square feet of retail and community space. No plans have been filed yet with the Department of Buildings.
In 2015, the city approved a zoning change that would allow Xu to replace the one-story, 15,841-square-foot commercial building currently on the lot, with a hotel.
“The Westin is very popular in China,” said Xu, who expects the hotel to cater to visitors from China and other Asian travelers.
Flushing has seen an explosion of development, including many upscale hotels, and many of the mega mixed-use projects coming to Flushing include hotels. The Tangram, a four-building complex developed by F&T Group and SCG America, includes plans for a 185-key hotel, and the firm opened a 168-key Hyatt Place hotel at One Fulton Square. Other hotels under construction include CMA Landmark Associates’ 148-key property at 36-18 Main Street.
Xu’s Century Development Group and his brother Chris Xu’s United Construction & Development Group are both active in Flushing. Century is developing a 14-story mixed-use project on Farrington street and 35th Avenue in Flushing. Chris is developing a building next door, and recently closed on a $100 million purchase of a four-acre development site on the Flushing River waterfront.