Starwood Hotels to open Garment District innovation center

46K sf space at 417 Fifth Avenue will be lab for new hospitality technology

From left: Starwood's Phil McAveety and 417 Fifth Avenue
From left: Starwood's Phil McAveety and 417 Fifth Avenue

The hospitality company behind the Sheraton, W and St. Regis hotel brands is setting up shop in the Garment District.

Starwood Hotels & Resorts plans to open an innovation center called Starlab next month at 417 Fifth Avenue between 37th and 38th streets, Crain’s reported. The 46,000-square-foot facility will be home to 200 employees responsible for pioneering new technology, such as a mobile phone app that unlocks guestrooms, according to the news site.

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Starwood previously housed its innovation lab downtown on Varick Street. It is now seeking to capitalize on the concentration of tech-minded tenants that have moved to the Midtown district.

“From an environmental perspective, the Garment District is becoming a hub for creative and technology companies — just being in a creative hotspot delivers on that as well,” Phil McAveety, Starwood’s executive vice president and chief brand officer, told Crain’s. [Crain’s]Tom DiChristopher