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Ybor City may get 'Aloft Hotel' for Generation Y business class

A room at an already opened Aloft Hotel. W Hotels may open one of these hotels aimed at the Generation Y business class in Ybor City as soon as December 2010.

Special to the Times

A room at an already opened Aloft Hotel. W Hotels may open one of these hotels aimed at the Generation Y business class in Ybor City as soon as December 2010.

YBOR — The big H's of the hotel industry may soon see competition from a new W in Ybor City.

Ybor's Hilton Garden and Hampton Inns already provide midrange options for traditional travelers, but a new concept by W Hotels hopes to attract the business of an emerging Generation Y business class.

The company, which owns the Westin chain, has created Aloft Hotels featuring hip bars, modern lobbies and specially branded Rubik's Cubes in some rooms.

Tampa's first Aloft could come to Fifth Avenue and 13th Street by December 2010.

The City Council will consider rezoning the property for hotel use Thursday.

The property is zoned for mixed use or office use, said Mark Bentley, an attorney representing local developer Ybor City Homes, which owns the property.

"Everyone's been very positive," he said. "We expect approval."

Neighbors have received the proposed hotel well because it offers an alternative to existing hotels while developing an empty lot, said Tony LaColla, president of the Historic Ybor Neighborhood Civic Association.

"We welcome a new hotel, for sure," he said.

Representatives from Aloft presented the concept to the association two weeks ago.

They had drawings of a previously opened Aloft on-hand, but have yet to design the exterior of the building in Ybor.

Representatives assured neighbors that the hotel will fit in with Ybor's historic architecture, LaColla said.

"We all want something that looks like it fits in with the district," he said.

Other details are not yet available. "We're still in the very early stages of development," said spokeswoman Stacy Trevino.

Joshua Neiderer can be reached at jneiderer@sptimes.com or (813) 226-3374.

Ybor City may get 'Aloft Hotel' for Generation Y business class 02/19/09 [Last modified: Thursday, February 19, 2009 3:30am]
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