Cuomo announces Aloft Hotel chain coming to Syracuse's Inner Harbor

Gov. Cuomo and County Exec. Mahoney join other officials in reviewing the Inner Harbor plans Thursday morning.

An international resort company with more than 1,000 properties in nearly 100 countries has announced plans to build a â??sassyâ?? and â??refreshingâ?? new hotel in Syracuse as part of the Inner Harbor revitalization project.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo was in Syracuse Thursday morning to take part in a news conference announcing plans for a new Aloft Hotel, which will be operated by Starwood Hotels and Resorts. Starwood owns well-known hotel chains such as Sheraton, Westin and St. Regis, and will be bringing its first Aloft Hotel to Central New York.

Starwood says the new hotel will cost $18 million and will feature four floors and 130 rooms over 75,000 square feet. Starwood says they â??believe in the future of the Inner Harbor projectâ?? and will be a cornerstone of COR Developmentâ??s $350 million multi-phase bid to revamp the Harbor for residential, commercial, retail, and educational use. Hotel construction is expected to begin in the Spring and will take about a year to complete.

Starwoodâ??s website refers to Aloft as â??Style at a Stealâ??. It calls Aloft â??â?¦an oasis where you least expect it, a spirited neighborhood outpost, a haven at the side of the road. Bringing a cozy harmony of modern elements to the classic on-the-road tradition, Aloft offers a sassy, refreshing, ultra effortless alternative for both the business and leisure traveler. Fresh, fun, and fulfilling, Aloft is an experience to be discovered and rediscovered, destination after destination, as you ease on down the road.â??

Cuomo trumpeted the announcement, saying it shows the progress of the Economic Development Council he created three years ago.

â??A day like today will begat more days like today. We just needed to get a shovel in the ground,â?? said Cuomo Thursday morning.

The Inner Harbor project involves not only the hotel, but also a residential complex, a satellite campus for OCC, and mixed-use commercial and office development. Officials say no state funding will be used for the hotel, but there has been some public money allocated for the overall Inner Harbor development.

"Starwood joining the Inner Harbor project is great news for Syracuse and Onondaga County and is further evidence of the success of the regional economic development councils. Thank you to Governor Cuomo and the regional economic development council for providing the resources necessary to make this project a reality," said Onondaga County Executive Joanie Mahoney.

"This is an exciting announcement as part of the redevelopment of the Inner Harbor, added Syracuse Mayor Stephanie Miner. "We thank Starwood Hotels and the State of New York for making this next step possible."

A nearby area of Solar Street which has been cleared out recently is Destiny USAâ??s property, and is not directly involved with the Inner Harbor redevelopment. Destiny USA says they do not have any specific plans for the land, which stretches from Kirkpatrick Street to Hiawatha Boulevard, but are calling it a â??beautificationâ?? project.

Destiny is working to remove dilapidated buildings, some of which are left over from the old â??Oil Cityâ?? years ago. Destiny spokesman David Aitken says the area will become a green space and is â??part of their collective emphasis on tourism.â??