A slice of Scottsdale is coming to Mesa's Fiesta District, with a landmark condominium project now joined by a luxury hotel.
Aloft, a new brand of Starwood Hotels, gives the Aquaterra condominiums yet another new look as Chicago-area developer Tom Roszak, of Roszak/ADC , works to get the project built east of Fiesta Mall, at Westwood and Grove.
"I think it creates a lot of synergy. It's a whole new sense of place," Roszak said. "It's a select service hotel. It will be very hip."
Robert Brinton, president of the Mesa Convention and Visitors Bureau, said Aloft appeals to upscale business and leisure travelers. He said Mesa is trying to attract more upscale hotels to compliment a large supply of bargain hotels and motels.
The addition of Aloft will give travelers a range of choices in the Fiesta District, which attracts travelers because of its proximity to Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport and Chandler, Brinton said.
"Aloft is a green light all the way. This is exactly what we're trying to get," he said.
Roszak said he obtained an Aloft franchise and has hired a management company with extensive experience in the hotel industry to operate it.
The hotel's addition leaves Aquaterra with 332 condominium units, along with the 128-unit hotel. It marks another stage of the project, which started as three glass and steel towers amid equal parts excitement and skepticism in a struggling part of the city.
The project is considered a key facet to the Fiesta District's revival, along with renovations to Fiesta Mall, expansion of Mesa Community College and the new Children's Hospital tower under construction at Banner Desert Medical Center.
Roszak opened the Aquaterra sales office Saturday and his sales staff met with 50 prospective buyers who had registered on a Web site, but no units were sold.
The units range in price from $189,000 for a studio to $632,900 for a three-bedroom unit. Roszak said he had more than 50 floor plans and plans to attract buyers from Mesa, Phoenix, Tempe and Chandler with substantially lower prices than Scottsdale.
"There's no other thing in Mesa like this. We're the thing in Mesa," he said. "We're first in line. We're creating this category."
Brinton said Mesa is on the verge of a boom in hotel construction, with rates and occupany rising since the fallout from the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks. He said financing is now available because hotels are making money.
Most hotels are being proposed in east Mesa, with developers wanting to cashing on travelers and businesses attracted by the growth of Mesa-Phoenix Gateway Airport, Brinton said.