Local developers take over Norfolk hotel and conference center

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Norfolk’s 10-year effort to build a full-service downtown hotel and conference center is back on track after a new set of developers agreed to take over and expand the project and add the upscale Westin Hotel brand.

The Norfolk Hotel Alliance LLC Partnership — made up of local firms LTD Management, Robinson Development and Fulco Development — will pick up the $150 million project from billionaire Robert L. Johnson. Johnson was initially contracted by the city to construct a Hilton-branded hotel but had asked to release his company from its commitment after the recent credit crisis and economic slowdown.

“The really wonderful news is that LTD Management and their partners have brought forward a much-expanded vision for the property, which we’re all thrilled with,” says Norfolk Mayor Paul Fraim. He noted that the hotel plans have added 50 rooms “in order to take full advantage of the conference center.”

Construction for the 23-story Norfolk Westin and Conference Center is scheduled to begin next spring, with completion slated for 2011. The facility will boast 301 guest rooms (including 12 luxury suites), two restaurants and six floors of private condominiums. A 50,000-square-foot conference center will feature three floors of ballroom and meeting space equipped with the latest in media equipment.

The Westin Hotel and Conference Center will cater to high-end but smaller conferences. It will open on the heels of the Norfolk Light Rail Transit, which is scheduled to begin running in early 2010 and will include a stop just one block from the Westin. 

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