PHILADELPHIA -- Paris-based Accor has added its name to the growing
list of lodging companies that will open hotels here the next few
Accor announced it will convert Philadelphia's former Stock
Exchange building on the northwest corner of 17th and Sansom
streets into a luxury Sofitel-brand hotel.
Construction is scheduled to start before the end of the year on
the 300-room, 13-story Hotel Sofitel Philadelphia; the hotel is set
to open in 2000.
Accor said it paid $5.5 million for the building but did not
disclose the construction cost.
Accor has been looking for a location in Philadelphia during the
past two years, John Lehodey, president of Accor Business and
Leisure Hotels, North America, said.
"Philadelphia is continuing to expand its position as a key
business and tourist destination, so the time is right for us to
bring a Sofitel here," Lehodey said.
He said the hotel will target business travelers and groups in
search of meeting space.
Plans for the hotel include a brasserie-style restaurant and a
French-style bakery and pastry shop.
It was not immediately known how much meeting space the hotel
Accor joins the approximately 21 hotels with more than 3,000
rooms either in the planning stages or under construction downtown,
according to the Greater Philadelphia Hotel Association.
Accor North America manages Sofitel hotels in Chicago, Houston,
Los Angeles, Miami, Minneapolis, San Francisco and Washington.
Construction is scheduled to begin on a hotel in New York later
The $90 million Sofitel New York will be Accor's second property
there; it also manages the Novotel on Broadway at 51st Street.