The Westin Jekyll Island celebrates construction milestone
Travel Daily News
Tatiana Rokou -
5 March 2014, 11:04
JEKYLL ISLAND, GA., - Jekyll Oceanfront Hotel, LLC (JOFH) celebrated the topping off of the $41 million Westin Jekyll Island, a 200-room, convention-class, beachfront hotel scheduled for completion later this year as part of the Jekyll Island Beach Village project. JOFH is a joint venture comprised of several investors including Leon N. Weiner & Associates, Inc., a nationally recognized real estate development company, and New Castle Hotels & Resorts, an award- winning, independent third-party hotel manager, owner and developer.
The celebration included a midday party for the 100-member construction crew at the site, adjacent to the new Jekyll Island Convention Center. In keeping with building industry tradition, the crew planted an American flag on the roof, and in deference to the hotel's island location, installed a palm tree, in lieu of the more commonly used evergreen. Topping off signals the construction milestone when the uppermost steel beam, or last piece of structural concrete is in place.
The five-story, U-shaped, beachfront hotel has been designed by LLW Architects of Memphis, Tenn., to meet Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design, (LEED) Silver specifications and minimize the hotel's impact on the barrier island's sensitive surroundings. The 8,750 cubic yards of concrete used in the construction were sourced from a plant in Brunswick, GA., only 15 miles from the site. Construction supervisors report that 99.7 percent of the waste generated at the site has been recycled. Westin brand room design specifications also are 60 percent more sustainable than conventionally built guest rooms, providing a more healthful guest environment.
“Construction of The Westin Jekyll Island is moving along according to schedule thanks to the great work of our general contractor, Pinkerton & Laws of Georgia, Inc., and an uneventful hurricane season" said Glenn Brooks, lead developer for Jekyll Oceanfront Hotel, LLC. “We've only lost a few days to high winds, so we're optimistic that construction will continue to proceed on time and on budget."
To ensure the stability of the foundation's 8,750 cubic yards of concrete, engineers pulled more than 17 million gallons of water from the site. Some 669 tons of rebar reinforce the concrete structure. Thus far, the project has involved 143,000 hours worked and upon completion, the hotel will be the one of the island's largest private employer with 150 full time workers.
The Westin Jekyll Island is part of the community's Beach Village project, developed by the Jekyll Island Authority (JIA) to reinvigorate the island’s tourism economy and includes the only beachfront convention center in the southeast. The 128,000-square-foot Jekyll Island Convention Center opened in May 2012 and is the centerpiece of the project, which also includes an oceanfront promenade, village green, restaurants, retail shopping and Great Dunes Park.
"Regional meeting planners have been following Jekyll Island since the opening of the convention center in 2012," said Gerry Chase, president of New Castle Hotels & Resorts, which will operate the hotel. "This construction milestone signals our imminent opening and will serve as an early preview of this one-of-a-kind venue."
With breathtaking ocean views and direct beach access, The Westin Jekyll Island will feature 5,000 square feet of indoor meeting space, as well as outdoor venues alongside a full suite of Westin's signature amenities and services. It will include a full-service restaurant with outdoor seating and the brand's signature WestinWORKOUT program, all designed to promote overall wellbeing.
Close to the island's National Historic Landmark District, The Westin Jekyll Island also will be convenient to the island's four golf courses, 10 miles of barrier island beaches and a variety of outdoor recreation, including marsh eco-tours, the Georgia Sea Turtle Center and more than 20 miles of bike paths and kayaking waterways.