Furnishings/decor retailer West Elm is continuing its push into the hospitality sector, with the unveiling of plans for its sixth hotel, in Portland, Maine. The 150-key hotel, slated to open in 2020, is being developed on Portland’s waterfront by Portland Foreside Development Co. LLC, and will be operated by hotel development and management company DDK, West Elm HOTELS’ exclusive operator for such properties.
“Portland has experienced a renaissance within the past decade, creating a distinct and modern vibe, while honoring its maritime history,” says Peter Fowler, vice president of West Elm Hospitality. “Our collaboration with Portland Foreside Development Co. brings forth local knowledge and expertise that will deliver an original experience for guests, as well as the surrounding seaside community. Together, we will celebrate the city’s past and create opportunities for discerning guests to discover Portland.”
The hotel will be located in Portland Foreside, a new neighborhood development in the area formerly known as the Portland Company Complex. Project participants say that neighborhood will offer a mix of retail, food and beverage, residential, office, hospitality, and a deep-water marina, all designed to encourage year-round enjoyment and community engagement.
“Portland Foreside Development Co. is excited about West Elm’s commitment to the city of Portland,” says Casey Prentice, manager of Portland Foreside Development Co. “We share the vision of connecting travelers to the daily life of Portland by focusing on a unique experience, highlighting the city’s local character, and delivering one-of-a-kind amenities and services modern travelers crave most.”
The hotel will overlook Portland’s waterfront, directly east of the Ocean Gateway Terminal and the waterfront public open space known as Portland Landing, and will offer views of Casco Bay, Fort Gorges and neighboring island communities. West Elm said it will draw on its retail and marketing expertise to design a unique hospitality experience that pays homage to the coastal city’s rich history and burgeoning waterfront community.
Brooklyn, New York-based West Elm first unveiled plans for its hotels unit last September 2016, with properties scheduled to open in Detroit, Indianapolis, Minneapolis, Oakland and Savannah, beginning in early 2019. The brand also operates 101 retail stores in the United States, Australia, Canada and the United Kingdom.