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Puerto Rico’s 1st dual-branded hotel concept breaks ground in San Juan

$77 million Hilton project will add 257 rooms to the convention district.

Private and public sector leaders announced the start of construction of Puerto Rico’s first dual-branded hotel project, a $77 million that will bring together Hilton International’s Hampton and Homewood Suites under one roof and will add 257 rooms to the Convention Center District in San Juan.

The 30-month construction will be carried out in two phases, starting with a multi-level 400-vehicle parking structure, followed by the 175,000-square-foot hotel tower, said Federico Stubbe, CEO of PRISA Group, which will add the new property to its portfolio of hotels that already includes Hyatt and Marriott properties in Puerto Rico.

“Jointly, those three brands are the leading global hotel brands, and now all three will have a presence at the Convention Center District,” said Stubbe, noting in a news conference to unveil the project that the development is expected to create 300 jobs during the construction phase and 100 direct jobs once operational.

“It’s much more than a traditional hotel. It’s a valuable proposal for the tourism industry since, under two brands of the Hilton flag, it provides different experiences to guests with different profiles and needs in the same modern structure, promoting a broader diversification of the market,” added Stubbe.

“This project will continue to strengthen Puerto Rico’s tourism industry, which has experienced significant growth in the last two years, with results that have exceeded all projections,” he said, confirming that Puerto Rico stands to generate $5 million to $7 million annually in hotel room tax revenue.

The project received financing from Banco Popular and a $10 million loan from the Economic Development Investment Portfolio Program (IPG) managed by the Department of Housing through the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development’s Community Development Block Grant – Disaster Recovery Funds for Post-Disaster Communities program.

The federal loan may be partially forgiven if specific criteria are met, Puerto Rico Housing Secretary William Rodríguez said during the news conference.

“This project not only represents a significant investment in our island’s tourism infrastructure, but also symbolizes Puerto Rico’s ability to attract and execute large-scale projects,” Rodríguez remarked. “The IPG program, with a budget of $800 million, plays a crucial role in offering loans with favorable terms for the development of projects that have the potential to transform the Puerto Rican economy.”

Mariela Vallines, the executive director of the Puerto Rico Convention Center District Authority, confirmed that the 257 new hotel rooms will bring the district’s total to 1,600.

“Increasing the number of rooms in the district’s footprint positions us among the best options for holding conventions and large-scale group events,” she said.

“This attraction, together with our excellent entertainment offering, lifts our competitive level and drives our growth in this important sector of the economy,” she said, hinting that there will be other announcements for the area’s development in the coming months.

Author Details
Author Details
Business reporter with 30 years of experience writing for weekly and daily newspapers, as well as trade publications in Puerto Rico. My list of former employers includes Caribbean Business, The San Juan Star, and the Puerto Rico Daily Sun, among others. My areas of expertise include telecommunications, technology, retail, agriculture, tourism, banking and most other segments of Puerto Rico’s economy.
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