Portman designs high-tech Westin hotel project in Warsaw

John Portman & Associates, Atlanta, has begun design work on the Westin Warsaw Hotel, which will be adjacent to the Atrium Business Centre in Warsaw, Poland. This is the company's first design project in Poland and will mark the first Westin brand hotel in Poland. It is scheduled for completion in 2003.

The Westin Warsaw will feature 366 rooms, conference facilities, a ballroom, a restaurant and a fitness center. The hallmark of the hotel will be an outdoor high-tech glass tube for the elevator that offers guests a panoramic view of Warsaw as they rise to the top of the hotel.

The hotel is being developed jointly by Skanska Polska Development and Portman Development LLC and will be operated by Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, White Plains, N.Y. The Westin Warsaw will be located at the corner of Jana Pawla II and Grzybowska streets, and will serve as the center of the growing Atrium Business Development Centre.

Kennedy-Wilson Japan completes acquisitions

Kennedy-Wilson Japan has purchased five office properties in Japan for $80 million. The buildings total more than 350,000 sq. ft. This acquisition brings the Tokyo-based firm's Japanese portfolio to more than 1.2 million sq. ft. Kennedy-Wilson Japan is a subsidiary of Kennedy-Wilson Inc., Beverly Hills, Calif., an international real estate investment, services and fund management company.

The Woody, Gotoh and Tanka Buildings are located in Tokyo, and the Ekimae Central Building and the Odori Koen Building are located in Sapporo, Japan.

According to the company, the Sapporo buildings are part of Kennedy-Wilson Japan's plan to identify and acquire well-located properties in key secondary Japanese markets.

The Mills Corp. develops its first overseas venture

The Mills Corp., Arlington, Va., plans to develop its first overseas retail and entertainment center in Arroymolinos, Spain, a suburb of Madrid.

Madrid Xanadu will be a 1.2 million sq. ft., full-price retail and leisure venue. It will feature 200 specialty retailers, 20 anchor stores and a variety of dining and entertainment attractions. Phase I construction is expected to begin this summer, with a scheduled completion date of 2003. The cost of the venue will be approximately $300 million.

El Corte Ingles, Spain's dominant retailer, and Hipercor, an upscale market, have committed to space in the new venue. Madrid Xanadu also will feature the 180,000 sq. ft. Snowdome, the largest indoor skiing, snowboarding and ice-skating facility in Europe.

The Mills Corp. is working with a team of local Madrid companies to develop Madrid Xanadu, including: PGC, its local land development partner; Chapman & Taylor architectural and design firm; Healy & Baker, a division of the Cushman & Wakefield leasing and brokerage organization; and Mace Management Services SL construction consultants.

Sonnenblick-Goldman arranges sale of Revlon tower

New York-based Revlon Corp. has sold a Japanese office tower to an undisclosed international insurance company. Sonnenblick-Goldman Co., New York, acted as the exclusive advisor to Revlon by arranging the sale of 2-11-16 Minami Aoyama, Minato-ku, Tokyo.

The 11-story, 45,800 sq. ft. office tower is located on one of Tokyo's main streets. The sale should be completed by November, and the building will be master-leased for 10 years by one of Japan's largest owners of commercial office property.

In other news, Sonnenblick-Goldman announced that John P. Smith has been appointed managing director of Sonnenblick-Goldman Asia Ltd., and will spearhead its newly formed Australian operation in Sydney.

JLL reports dot-coms making an impact across the pond

The New Economy has had a significant impact on the Central London office market, reports Jones Lang LaSalle (JLL).

The technology media and telecomms (TMT) sector accounted for 20% of office space taken in Central London in the past two years. JLL said the New Economy will have a substantial influence on the general office market as businesses incorporate Internet functions and adopt occupation trends traditionally found in the dot-com sector. According to JLL, confidence in the New Economy has led to a strong demand for London office space by the TMT and dot-com sector.

Other research findings showed that flexibility is key to these new office tenants, with typical dot-com leases running 5.2 years instead of the traditional London lease of 15 years. Also, there is an increasing need for 24/7 office space, since many dot-com companies operate around the clock. According to JLL, this may represent the beginnings of London as a real 24-hour city.

e-mail international news to mhavich@intertec.com