BOOMING BUCKHEAD

The Buckhead area of Atlanta is going through a growth spurt that is changing the skyline of the affluent community. One of the most striking developments, architecturally, is the $100-million conversion of a Crowne Plaza into the W Buckhead-Atlanta. Ai Group is the architect that will completely redesign the hotel into a luxury property, complete with exterior glass elevator, rooftop bar, water walls and exterior screen featuring high-tech art. The hotel is being designed in conjunction with Thom Filicia, interior design star of Style Network's Dress My Nest and former series regular of Queer Eye for the Straight Guy.

The conversion, expected to be completed by summer 2008, will give Atlanta its fourth W hotel. The property is being developed by Atlanta-based Noble Investment Group. Notes Noble CEO Mit Shah: “Along with our $96-million W Atlanta-Midtown which will open in spring 2008, the W Atlanta-Buckhead will be a significant addition to a vibrant city that has been underserved by true stylistic, modern luxury hotels. This dramatic re-development of one of the most strategic and desirable real estate addresses in Buckhead will provide us the opportunity to add approximately 350,000 square feet of W branded residences and ancillary amenities adjacent to the project at a later date.”

The property will feature 291 upgraded rooms and suites, all outfitted with W's signature bed, plasma television and wireless Internet access. Additional amenities include a Sweat workout facility, approximately 7,000 square feet of meeting space and W's Whatever/Whenever service, the hotel's 24-hour concierge.

In related news, W Hotels announced that it has launched a brand partnership with Thom Filicia, Inc. In addition to the design of W Atlanta-Buckhead, Filicia will redesign and renovate the brand's iconic W Los Angeles-Westwood property and renovate the Living Room space at W San Diego.

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