A rendering of the Hampton Inn & Suites and Homewood Suites by Hilton at Alfred Sanzari Enterprises’ mixed-use Glenpointe campus in Teaneck — Courtesy: Alfred Sanzari Enterprises
By Joshua Burd
Come this spring, Alfred Sanzari Enterprises will take the wraps off a new 14-story hotel in Teaneck, with a striking glass façade that will soar above Interstate 95 and be on display for thousands of motorists who pass by en route to the George Washington Bridge.
To Ryan Sanzari, the exposure for the firm’s Glenpointe complex is “almost priceless”
“From the brand recognition to Glenpointe’s general presence as a whole, this is going to be such a big addition for us, because of not only the size of the building, but it’s a glass tower,” Sanzari said. “On a clear day, you’re going to see the clouds and the blue sky reflecting off of this façade and it’s going to give off a wow factor that’s really going to be breathtaking.”
It’s just one reason that Sanzari, the firm’s chief operating officer, has to be excited about the new dual-branded Hilton hotel. The building will be the latest piece of the mixed-use Glenpointe complex at the nexus of interstates 95 and 80, creating a new offering for the business campus while tapping into the demand for new hotel rooms outside Manhattan.
Managed by White Lodging, the dual Hampton Inn & Suites and Homewood Suites by Hilton brands will feature 350 rooms that cater to both leisure and business travelers. It will also double the hotel capacity at Glenpointe — which already has 350-room, full-service Marriott attached to a three-building office complex — and create a range of choices that Sanzari feels will be complementary.
“People have different situations and they need that diversity and that range,” he said.
The project, which topped out last fall, occupies a site that was originally slated for office development. Sanzari said the Hackensack-based firm had approvals to build up to 420,000 square feet, with a curved glass façade that he said would evoke buildings on the Hudson waterfront or in Manhattan.
But the developer opted for a different use around 2015 after considering the market and the benefits to the community, Sanzari said. New hotel construction has been limited in northern New Jersey in recent years: According to STR, a data and analytics firm for the hospitality sector, the region has added only about 618,000 rooms since 2011, while demand has grown by about 853,500 room nights.
During that time, occupancy has ticked upward to 73.9 percent last year from 70.5 percent in 2011, according to STR, while revenue in the region has risen to more than $1.2 billion from around $940 million. The firm, which included Bergen, Hudson, Morris, Passaic, Union and Sussex counties in its data, also tracked a development pipeline that includes 6,700 rooms that are in some stage of planning or under construction.
In the meantime, the demand for suburban office space has weakened over the past decade, although landlords that have offered amenities and a mixed-use setting such a Glenpointe have managed to withstand the changes in the market.
To that end, Sanzari believes adding the new hotel will only enhance a campus that already has features such as a 26,000-square-foot fitness center, restaurants, Starbucks, a bank and a host of other services — all of which support about 650,000 square feet of office space.
“There is absolutely nothing but positivity that comes from having this hotel connected with the office complex,” said Sanzari, who represents the third generation of leadership at his firm. “There’s a great synergy there and it really works.”
The new hotel will also include 1,200 square feet of meeting space that can accommodate up to 100 people. Both the Hampton Inn and Homewood Suites sections will share the same entrance, meeting room, function space, fitness center and parking garage.
During a tour of the site last fall, Sanzari said the development firm was also working on a nighttime lighting plan “that will mix very well with both the Marriott and the Hampton-Homewood.” He noted that the 73-year-old, multigenerational business is “not the type that’s going to light this as if it were the Empire State Building,” but said the firm has every intention of touting the newest addition to its flagship business campus.
“As a unit, we’re on the same page as to how we want this to look at night,” Sanzari said. “That’s still very much in the works, but I can say for sure that when you’re coming up the highway at night, this is going to pop and really draw people’s curiosity and attention. And it’s going to start that conversation.
“On a clear day and a clear night, it will just produce an energy that is inexplicable.”
With more than seven decades in commercial real estate, Alfred Sanzari Enterprises is well-versed in ground-up construction. But when it came to building its newest project at Glenpointe, the developer opted to bring in some additional expertise.
The firm has rarely if ever used a general contractor for its projects, but tapped March Associates Construction Inc. as its construction manager for the new 350-room, dual-branded hotel in Teaneck. According to Ryan Sanzari, the decision was in part a reflection of the scale of the project.
“We’ve acted as our own GC, but for this project, whether it was going to be an office or a hotel … we knew it was going to be something of a large magnitude,” Sanzari said.
“So we knew we were going to develop it with a general contractor or a construction manager.”