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Le Meridien Tampa Debuts in Century-Old Courthouse in the Heart of Downtown

Contemporary Designs Combine with Beaux-Arts Landmark for Tampa’s First Le Méridien Hotel.

Tuesday, June 24, 2014
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Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Inc. (NYSE:HOT) today announced the debut of Le Méridien Tampa, following an adaptive re-use project that has transformed a century-old federal courthouse into the city’s newest hotel. Developed by Memphis-based Development Services Group and owned via joint venture between its CEO and President Gary Prosterman and the Atlantic American Opportunity Fund, Le Méridien Tampa offers 130 contemporary guestrooms, a modern restaurant and state-of-the-art meeting and event space all set against the backdrop of the building’s stunning architecture and location in the heart of the city’s downtown arts and entertainment district.

“Our design approach for Le Méridien – juxtaposing the old with the new in a nod to our mid-century roots – lends itself well for adaptive re-use projects such as this one in Tampa,” said Brian Povinelli, Global Brand Leader, Le Méridien and Westin Hotels. “Le Méridien Tampa combines the building’s original architectural flourishes with contemporary design details inspired by the city, providing a truly distinctive atmosphere designed to unlock the destination for both the creative-minded traveler and locals alike.”

Listed on the National Register of Historic Places, the former courthouse occupies an entire city block of North Florida Avenue between Zack and Twig Streets and was previously a customs house and post office. The $26 million renovation of Le Méridien Tampa preserved the building’s most notable architectural elements, including the marble and terrazzo lobby as well as its oak door frames and window casings. Contemporary facilities include an outdoor pool, 24-hour fitness center and ultramodern business center that features a historic judge’s bench as the primary work station. Guests and locals can indulge in Bizou Brasserie’s French cuisine with the option to dine al fresco, or enjoy sparkling cocktails with friends and colleagues at Longitude Bar. An ideal choice for meetings and weddings, Le Méridien Tampa offers more than 4,000 square feet of contemporary meeting and event space, including a grand ballroom for up to 150 guests.

Le Méridien Tampa also features the signature Le Méridien Hub™, which re-interprets the traditional lobby into a social gathering place, and further builds on the brand’s award-winning arrival experience and coffee culture. Le Méridien arrival consists of four elements: large-scale artwork in high impact areas; a sensory experience, illustrated through Le Méridien signature scent, sound and use of light; UNLOCK ART™ programme, featuring artist designed key card collections that offer access to Le Méridien affiliated contemporary cultural centers in the city; and a 24-hour curated soundtrack by French Bossa Nova band Nouvelle Vague. The Hub features the signature Master Barista, a recently launched initiative to meet the growing demands of coffee lovers at every Le Méridien hotel worldwide. Master Baristas lead coffee-related initiatives at each hotel, serve as a coffee cultural ambassador, and maintain knowledge of current coffee trends within the destination.

“We were honored to be selected by the city of Tampa to re-develop and restore this architectural gem,” said Gary Prosterman, CEO and President, Development Services Group. “We believe that the Le Méridien brand is the perfect fit to showcase this dazzling property that will provide hotel guests with an unparalled travel experience. Le Méridien is a welcome, new addition to Tampa and will offer business and leisure travelers a terrific, new option in an ideal location and the chance to experience the brand’s creative atmosphere and distinct culture.”

Just 12 minutes from Tampa International Airport (TPA), Le Méridien Tampa is in the heart of downtown Tampa and within a few minutes’ walk to the Tampa Convention Center, Straz Center for the Performing Arts, the Tampa Museum of Art, The Tampa Children’s Museum, The Tampa Theatre, and the Henry B. Plant Museum. Also nearby are the Port of Tampa, the University of Tampa campus, the shops and restaurants along Tampa Riverwalk, and leading sports venues including Tropicana Field and Tampa Bay Times Forum. Hotel Guests are provided with complimentary passes to explore the impressive collection of contemporary art as well as Greek and Roman antiques at The Tampa Museum of Art, Le Méridien Tampa’s official UNLOCK Art partner.

About Le Méridien Hotels & Resorts
Le Méridien, the Paris-born hotel brand currently represented by nearly 100 properties in more than 40 countries, was acquired by Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Inc. (NYSE:HOT) in November 2005. With more than 80 of its properties located in Europe, Africa, the Middle East, and Asia-Pacific, Le Méridien provided a strong international complement to Starwood’s then primarily North American holdings at the time of purchase. Since then, Le Méridien has gone through a brand re-launch, which included a large scale hotels product consolidation and redefined brand strategy. Through creation of the LM100 artist community, Le Méridien has transformed numerous guest touch points, thus bringing unique, interactive and curated experiences to its guests. Plans call for dynamic expansion of Le Méridien Hotels and Resorts within the next five years, concentrating on markets in Asia-Pacific and the Americas. Le Méridien recently opened new hotels in Tampa (Florida, USA), Cairo, Bali, Atlanta, Dallas, Istanbul, Oran (Algeria), Zhengzhou (China), Arlington (Virginia, USA) and Santa Monica, (California, USA), and will open in the next 12 months in Bangkok, Chicago, New Orleans, Mahabaleshwar (India), Gandhinagar (India), Dhaka (Bangladesh), Charlotte (North Carolina, USA) and Indianapolis (Indiana, USA). For more information, please visit www.lemeridien.com or www.facebook.com/lemeridien. Follow @LeMeridienHotels on Instagram and Twitter.

About Development Services Group
Development Services Group, Inc. (“DSG”) based in Memphis, Tennessee has a stellar twenty eight year track record for producing quality developments among multiple real estate asset classes with a predominant focus on the development of hotels and apartments. The Le Meridien Tampa is the 26th hotel that DSG has developed and is its second Le Meriden hotel. Its re-development of the Le Meridien Hotel- Philadelphia received numerous awards for the transformation of a ten story Georgian revival style building that was originally built in 1911 as the YMCA. All 26 of DSG’s hospitality projects are branded hotels licensed by either Starwood Hotels and Resorts, Inc.; Marriott International, Inc.; or Hilton Worldwide Inc.

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