Bisnow: Anaheim JW Marriott Developers Discuss Resort Hotel Industry, Star Wars Land

Earlier this month, Joseph Pimentel of Bisnow Los Angeles published on article on the JW Marriott luxury hotel project at the GardenWalk, slated to open in early 2020, including an interview with the development partners – AJesh Patel of Prospera Hotels and Bill O’Connell, Sr. of O’Connell Hotel Group. The JW Marriott will be only the third 4-Diamond hotel in Anaheim – the others being the Disneyland Hotel and Disney’s Grand California Hotel and Spa.

Following are excerpts from the article:

Just two blocks away from the Disneyland Resort and the Anaheim Convention Center and adjacent to the GardenWalk outdoor shopping center, the 12-story, 466-room JW Marriott will feature 45K SF of meeting space, a rooftop bar with views of Disneyland’s nightly fireworks show, an outdoor meeting space, a Zen garden, a yoga studio and a fitness facility.

The JV of Prospera Hotels and O’Connell Hotel Group broke ground on the JW Marriott last year. 

“Anaheim is more exciting today than it has been since Walt Disney came to town and built Disneyland,” O’Connell Hotel Group Chairman Bill O’Connell said. “Aside from Disneyland and Disney California Adventure, there’s the [Anaheim] Angels and [Anaheim] Ducks and now we’re seeing a lot of expansion and older motels being redeveloped.”

Disneyland is opening its much-hyped Star Wars-themed land called Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge this summer. The 14-acre, $1B section of the park will feature two rides, including a Millennium Falcon attraction, and Star Wars-themed retail and restaurants.

Developers are continuing to pour money into The Platinum Triangle, where the Los Angeles Angels baseball team and Anaheim Ducks play, and a pipeline of $1.5B in development, including condominiums, apartments, offices, retail and a hotel. 

The Convention Center completed an expansion a couple of years ago. The GardenWalk recently sold and will undergo a repositioning, and more projects, such as the $450M LT Platinum Center, will soon break ground.

Pimentel also reported on the negative economic impacts of last year’s passage of Measure L, the “living wage” initiative:

The measure will likely eat in to the hotel’s operating costs.

O’Connell and Prospera Hotels President and CEO Ajesh Patel declined to comment on Measure L’s impact on their business. Wincome, which broke ground on a Westin Anaheim before the vote, has put its second planned hotel on hold following Measure L’s November approval. Disneyland canceled its agreement with the city ahead of the vote last year.

“These hotels were built under a business model that did not include the wage rate under Measure L,” Anaheim Chamber of Commerce spokesman Jeff Flint told Bisnow. “While it’s up to the owners and operators of the hotel to measure the impact, we know that the two [other] pending hotels under the original agreement are at serious risk of cancellation because of the higher wage rate. The chamber is concerned that this will ultimately lead to the cancellation of the second Wincome hotel and GardenWalk hotel and the city really needs those luxury hotels to be built.”

You can read the entirety of Pimentel’s article – including an interview with Patel and O’Connell – by clicking here.

One comment

  1. SERGIO E. GONZALEZ

    Build the hotels: Tourist will come
    Tourist come to town: Tourist spend money on Disney, Angels, Ducks, Conventions etc.
    Money gets taxed: Goes into city coffers
    Money in city: Goes to city services and reduces cost to residence
    Residents keep more of their money: They spend it generating the economy
    The Economy is stimulated: People invest in the city
    Investment in the city: They build restaurants, retail, hotels
    Build the hotels…………..

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