Downtown Phoenix parking lot considered for hotel site

[Source: Emily Gersema, The Arizona Republic]

Barron Collier Companies is investigating development ideas for a two-acre parcel that is now a parking lot at First and Washington streets.

Jay Thorne, a Barron Collier spokesman, said Hilton Worldwide officials are exploring the idea of building a hotel on the property, but nothing is firm at this point.

Before the recession hit, the site was earmarked for condominium towers.

It is near the massive downtown office and retail development CityScape.

Business leaders have said Phoenix could use more downtown hotels to accommodate an increase in visitor traffic tied to the Phoenix Convention Center’s recent expansion, a $600 million project that tripled the convention center’s space.

New hotels are coming. The Freeport McMoRan Copper & Gold’s headquarters at Central Avenue and Van Buren Street shares space with a new Westin that will celebrate its grand opening on March 10.

Also, CityScape developer RED Development is building a $90 million boutique Palomar Hotel, which will be managed by Kimpton Hotels. The Palomar is expected to open in 2012.

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