Marriott to build world’s tallest modular hotel in New York City

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Courtesy of Danny Forster & Architecture

Marriott International is building the world’s tallest modular hotel in New York City.

Called the AC Hotel New York NoMad, the 360-ft.-tall tower will feature a modular roof and modular rooftop bar. The modular hotel is on track to be stacked in late fall in New York City with prefabricated and pre-furnished guestrooms.

Once erected over a 90-day period, the 360-foot-tall tower will “represent a milestone for Marriott’s ongoing initiative to encourage hotel developers in North America to embrace modular for new construction projects,” Marriott said in a statement.

The building is expected to open in late 2020.

“In North America, the construction process hasn’t changed significantly in 150 years and it’s ripe for innovation,” stated Eric Jacobs, chief development officer of North America, Select and Extended Stay Brands at Marriott International. “The world’s tallest modular hotel in one of the world’s greatest destinations will act as a game-changing symbol to ignite even greater interest in modular among the real estate and lending industries.”

The 168-room, 26-story AC Hotel New York NoMad is scheduled to rise at 842 Sixth Ave. with prefabricated guestrooms arriving at the hotel site fully constructed, inside and out. Besides finished, painted walls, each “module” will contain a fully outfitted guest room – with beds, sheets, pillows, flooring and even toiletries.

The hotel’s roof and rooftop bar are expected to be produced using modular construction, and its more customized public areas such as the restaurant and lobby are expected to be constructed using traditional methods.

Prefabrication is a process that Marriott has found typically reduces the construction timeline, curbs site waste and noise, and results in a higher-quality product produced with factory level precision. The time savings comes from the ability to perform two crucial functions simultaneously – building the public spaces on site while manufacturing the guest rooms offsite.

“This is the moment where modular construction takes center stage,” stated Danny Forster, a modular building advocate whose firm Danny Forster & Architecture designed the project. “This hotel takes every advantage of off-site manufacturing, as you might expect. But it does so in a way that defies expectation. We wanted to demonstrate that modular building can do more than just harness the efficiencies of the factory. It can produce a graceful and iconic tower. And yes, it can do so at the rate of an entire floor a day.”

Marriott began researching modular construction in 2014 to offset lengthening hotel construction times – a trend attributed to the nation’s building boom and resulting labor shortages. Since 2011, Marriott has seen the average time to build and open a hotel in North America increase by as much 50%, depending on factors such as location and size of property.

Since 2015, Marriott has been educating owners, franchisees, architects, lenders, consultants, general contractors and other stakeholders across the industry about the benefits of modular by hosting town halls, factory tours and stacking events. The company also worked with leading modular manufacturers to help them better understand the untapped demand that hotel development companies represent.

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