HRI Properties Breaks Ground on New Dual-Branded Hyatt Place and Hyatt House Hotels in Downtown Tampa

USA, Tampa, Florida. February 28, 2019

HRI Properties, LLC (HRIP), Hyatt and public officials broke ground today on construction for the dual-branded Hyatt Place and Hyatt House hotels in downtown Tampa. The project will add a transformative new development to the city's downtown area and create a hotel experience that offers an array of shared services and amenities that meet the needs of guests, whether traveling alone, with family, for business, or for leisure.

“HRI Properties is excited to be awarded this project, and today we celebrate the long-awaited groundbreaking with the City of Tampa and our friends from Hyatt,” said HRI Properties President and CEO A. Thomas Leonhard Jr. “We are constructing first-class hotels inspired by the rich history of Tampa that will complement and enhance downtown hospitality options for both visitors and locals alike. We hope this will be the first of many HRI Properties projects in this great city, and we look forward to celebrating our ribbon cutting ceremony later next year.”

In addition to Leonhard, groundbreaking attendees included Tampa Mayor Bob Buckhorn, Hyatt Senior Vice President Julienne Smith, City of Tampa Administrator of Economic Opportunity Bob McDonough, City of Tampa Urban Development Manager Rob Rosner, and Visit Tampa Bay President & CEO Santiago Corrada. Tampa city council members Mike Suarez, Charlie Miranda, Yvonne Yolie Capin, Harry Cohen, Frank Reddick, Guido Maniscalco, and Luis Viera were also invited to attend.

The Hyatt Place and Hyatt House development opportunity was initiated by the City of Tampa and was awarded to HRI Properties through a competitive RFP process. DPR Construction was selected as the Design-Build Contractor for the property. The project will consist of a combined new 17-story, 230-room Hyatt Place hotel and a 115-room Hyatt House hotel, with approximately 4,000 square feet of meeting space, 3,200 square feet of ground floor retail space and a fully integrated 220-space public parking garage. The development is expected to open in fall of 2020.

“Tampa's skyline is seeing rapid growth and it's just beginning. I look forward to seeing the completion of this hotel that will serve residents and visitors for years to come,” said Mayor Buckhorn. “This city is in the midst of a renaissance and it's projects like these that will help complete Tampa's next chapter and add to our live, work, stay and play environment.”

The hotels will be located directly across the street from City Hall and provide connectivity between downtown Tampa and neighboring Riverwalk attractions, such as the Tampa Convention Center, The Florida Aquarium, Amalie Arena, and more. The project will create a cosmopolitan experience for guests showcasing the spirit of the city with a relaxed, locally inspired design reflecting the charm and character of the city's downtown area. The site provides exceptional walkability, a bike lane accessible to all downtown residents and is also conveniently located next to the Hillsborough Area Regional Transit Authority's service lines.

“We are thrilled to soon welcome another Hyatt brand-defining project to our portfolio of Hyatt Place and Hyatt House hotels. HRI's commitment to excellence both in development and operations is the combination we carefully pursue when growing our collection of hotels. The location is exactly where we want to be in Tampa and we look forward to celebrating its opening,” says Julienne Smith, Hyatt's senior vice president of development and owner relations.

The Hyatt Place and Hyatt House brands are designed to deliver seamless experiences that are authentic, intuitive and modern, allowing business travelers to remain productive and worry free, without skipping a beat. For more information about Hyatt Place and Hyatt House hotels, please visit https://www.hyatt.com/info/hyatt-place-hyatt-house-why-settle.

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Sales & Marketing: Selling Experiences

There are innumerable strategies that Hotel Sales and Marketing Directors employ to find, engage and entice guests to their property, and those strategies are constantly evolving. A breakthrough technology, pioneering platform, or even a simple algorithm update can cause new trends to emerge and upend the best laid plans. Sales and marketing departments must remain agile so they can adapt to the ever changing digital landscape. As an example, the popularity of virtual reality is on the rise, as 360 interactive technologies become more mainstream. Chatbots and artificial intelligence are also poised to become the next big things, as they take guest personalization to a whole new level. But one sales and marketing trend that is currently resulting in major benefits for hotels is experiential marketing - the effort to deliver an experience to potential guests. Mainly this is accomplished through the creative use of video and images, and by utilizing what has become known as User Generated Content. By sharing actual personal content (videos and pictures) from satisfied guests who have experienced the delights of a property, prospective guests can more easily imagine themselves having the same experience. Similarly, Hotel Generated Content is equally important. Hotels are more than beds and effective video presentations can tell a compelling story - a story about what makes the hotel appealing and unique. A video walk-through of rooms is essential, as are video tours in different areas of a hotel. The goal is to highlight what makes the property exceptional, but also to show real people having real fun - an experience that prospective guests can have too. The June Hotel Business Review will report on some of these issues and strategies, and examine how some sales and marketing professionals are integrating them into their operations.