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Starwood announces second hotel coming to Syracuse's Inner Harbor

Ellen Abbott
Gov. Andrew Cuomo addresses a group gathered at the site of the Aloft Hotel in Syracuse's Inner Harbor.

The Starwood group is now building two hotels in Syracuse’s Inner Harbor. Word of the second hotel came at the groundbreaking of the first.

With developers and dignitaries on hand for the groundbreaking of an Aloft Hotel in Syracuse’s Inner Harbor, Jeremy Cooper of Starwood Hotels made an announcement.

"In addition to this groundbreaking, another Starwood Hotel is being built right here in the Inner Harbor. The Element Syracuse Inner Harbor Hotel is expected to open in 2018," said Cooper.

The Element will sit next to the Aloft on the southeast corner of the property, which is being redeveloped by COR as part of a $350 million mixed-use project. Cooper says while the Aloft will be a traditional hotel, the Element is intended as a longer-stay property, with kitchenettes and larger suites, and is geared towards visitors who have an interest in sustainability.

"From the construction materials all the way through, using reclaimed materials and so forth, to build the hotel," Cooper explained. "Looking at options to add solar paneling, and so forth, to not only generate power for the hotel, but feed back to the grid wherever possible.”

Cooper says one thing the two hotels have in common? There's no full service restaurant, although there is a bar in the Aloft.

“We’re more on that cocktail music scene and some food to keep it friendly, and Element is just there is no restaurant," Cooper said. "It’s just bringing traffic here to enjoy the restaurant scene in the area.”

He says changing New York state government business attitudes have helped make it easier to push ahead with two properties.

"Just the ability to get deals done, get them in the works, and sort of cutting through some of the unnecessary red tape," Cooper explained. "I think that’s what’s happening here with the clean up of the Inner Harbor.”

Gov. Andrew Cuomo was on hand for the groundbreaking. He says it’s great to see plans for the Inner Harbor finally come to fruition.

"We’ve had a lot of plans over the years," Cuomo said. "We just haven’t had enough action. And now you’re seeing the reverse. You’re seeing success beget success, and you’re feeling a different energy in Syracuse.”

The Aloft is expected to be open by the end of next year.

Ellen produces news reports and features related to events that occur in the greater Syracuse area and throughout Onondaga County. Her reports are heard regularly in regional updates in Morning Edition and All Things Considered.