N.Y. company completes purchase of James Hotel - East Valley Tribune: Business

N.Y. company completes purchase of James Hotel

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Posted: Friday, May 5, 2006 6:15 am | Updated: 3:29 pm, Fri Oct 7, 2011.

New York-based Morgans Hotel Group completed its $47.5 million purchase of the James Hotel in downtown Scottsdale Thursday and launched plans for a major redo.

The company already has renamed the 194-room Scottsdale mall-side inn Mondrian — the second location for the boutique brand that debuted on legendary Sunset Strip in West Hollywood.

But the makeover won’t be completed until year end, said Tim Miller, executive vice president of Morgans Hotel Group.

The Scottsdale hotel will stay open during the renovations, he said.

The company has not determined how much the changes will cost, Miller said. “We’re still finalizing the design concepts,” he said.

The Scottsdale Mondrian will have many of the funky features of the L.A. version, including Zen-inspired spa Agua Bathhouse, the open-air night spot Skybar and Asian-Latino cuisine restaurant Asia de Cuba, Miller said.

The decor will be “provocative, cutting-edge and contemporary, but comfortable and soothing,” he said. Morgans chose Scottsdale to launch its planned expansion into new markets because the city fit an ideal profile, Miller said.

“People who live here understand what we bring to the marketplace,” Miller said. “And Scottsdale has the vibrance and excitement of the other cities we’re in.”

The James-to-Mondrian conversion will be the second major renovation of the 31-year-old property in the last three years.

The James Hotel was the pilot version of a new, urban, boutique chain developed by New York restaurateur Stephen Hanson and his partner Danny Errico. The two entrepreneurs brought the languishing old hotel that at one time or another did business as a Doubletree, a Clarion and a Holiday Inn out of bankruptcy. They spent about $25 million to rejuvenate it into a trendy, urban, hot spot aimed to attract young, hip travelers who want to stay close to a city’s restaurant and club hub.

Morgans Hotel group claims to have revolutionized the hotel industry with the first modern “boutique concept” hotel, The Morgans, which opened in 1984 on Madison Avenue in New York. The company defines the concept as “characterized by personalized service and home-awayfrom-home ambiance in a setting of timeless elegance.”

Morgans, which now has a dozen hotels, also claims to have perfected such cuttingedge concepts as the indooroutdoor lobby and the idea of “simple chic.”

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