Menlo Park Getting New Hotel and Office Complex
By George Avalos
MENLO PARK — Developers on Wednesday launched a dramatic addition to Menlo Park, one of the hubs of venture capital in Silicon Valley, by beginning construction of a luxury high-rise hotel, three office buildings and a fitness center.
“This is going to be a real plus for Silicon Valley and Menlo Park,” said Howard Dallmar, an executive managing director with Newmark Cornish & Carey, a commercial realty firm that is seeking tenants for the offices. “You look at the tech companies that need additional space in these markets and they are having difficulty finding offices.”
The project consists of a high-rise hotel, three office buildings, a Bay Club fitness center and outdoor activity facilities. Located near the U.S. Highway 101 and Marsh Road interchange, the mixed-use complex is being built by a joint venture of Bohannon Development, Ensemble Real Estate Investments and AECOM Capital.
“The end result will re-confirm Menlo Park’s position at the historic heart of Silicon Valley innovation and, at the same time, transform this industrial neighborhood into a vibrant environment for people and business,” said David Bohannon, a senior vice president with Bohannon Development.
The 250-room hotel will be part of Marriott’s Autograph Collection and contain 43 suites, courtyards and gardens, floor to ceiling windows, and a state-of-the-art fitness center.
As a way to cater to entrepreneurs and financiers, the hotel also will feature 20,000 square feet of indoor and outdoor meeting spaces and event facilities, and a 6,000-square-foot ballroom.
Brian Ehrlich, chief investment officer at Ensemble Real Estate Investments, said it is intended to attract locals, travelers and corporate leaders.
The hotel is expected to open sometime in 2017.
“This project represents our first investment in the Bay Area, and addresses the need for more hotel rooms in Menlo Park to support the growing demand of the technology industry,” said John Livingston, chief executive of AECOM Capital.
The first phase of the project will include the 11-story hotel and an eight-story office building totaling 200,000 square feet.
“This hotel will do fantastic business,” said Alan Reay, president of Atlas Hospitality, which tracks California’s lodging industry. “It’s a great area and a great location.”
Plus, the Autograph brand of hotel could appeal to millennials and other young tech workers and venture capitalists working in the area.
“It’s a great fit for Silicon Valley,” Reay said. “It will be unique and won’t be a cookie cutter hotel.”
The initial construction also will include the 40,000-square-foot Bay Club fitness center, a cafe and four acres of open spaces.
Phase two will feature a pair of office buildings totaling 500,000 square feet.
“The project will be able to attract large tech companies as well as smaller professional firms,” Dallmar said. “You will have a lot of tenants looking at these offices.”