Room boom

The Brooklyn Paper
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The Brooklyn Marriott’s 280-room annex has swung open its doors on Adams Street, bringing its total number of rooms in the often sold-out hotel to 660.

The 25-floor annex opens amid a hotel boom in Brooklyn that includes the Holiday Inn Express on Union Street in Gowanus and at least four almost-completed newcomers.

But the Marriott is the most grand, according to its general manager.

“Our annex is fabulous,” gushed Sam Ibrahim. “The views are breathtaking — you can see the Statue of Liberty [and] the Brooklyn and Manhattan bridges. It’s unbelievab­le.”

The addition comes at a critical moment for Brooklyn, as tourists increasingly spurn Manhattan for its hipper neighbor.

“Brooklyn is hot now, everyone’s moving there, and it’s no longer a second choice for meetings,” said Marriott spokeswoman Kathy Duffy. “We’ve had to turn down some conventions, because we didn’t have enough sleeping rooms for conventioneers.

“The expansion is meant to make us more competitive in the convention market,” she said.

When the first Marriott building went up in 1998, critics said that the space in the building allocated to the hotel was too small to meet the borough’s needs. Additional space was leased to the Brooklyn district attorney and other offices.

“Brooklyn is attracting people from all over the globe and now they have a place to stay when they’re here,” said Craig Hammerman, district manager of Community Board 6

Make that, places to stay.

The skeleton of Brooklyn’s first “boutique” hotel is now going up on Fourth Avenue, between Fifth and Sixth streets, where visitors will have views of a dialysis unit on one side, and taxi depot on the other. The eight-story, 48-room lodge features a sleek design by Quebec-based Andres Escobar.

On Duffield Street, a 25-story W Hotel and a similarly sized Sheraton Hotel will rise next to each other for a total of 500 rooms. The Sheraton is slated to open in early 2008.

And for the thrifty tourist, hotel mogul Sam Chang, who built the Holiday Inn Express, is expanding his Brooklyn portfolio with the creation of a Comfort Inn on Baltic Street near the Gowanus Houses.

That’s in addition to the recently opened Atlantic Motor Inn on Atlantic Avenue in Crown Heights, a new Best Western in Sheepshead Bay, and The Smith, a 93-room boutique hotel being built across from the Brooklyn House of Detention on Atlantic Avenue in Boerum Hill.

Borough President Markowitz, thinks this hotel boom is a boon for Brooklyn.

“Each new hotel room gives visitors a special opportunity to be a Brooklynite — if only for a night,” said Markowitz.

Updated 4:00 pm, November 10, 2010
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