SEATTLE — In Seattle this week, citizenM — the pioneer of affordable luxury hotels — announces the start of constructionof the citizenM hotel at Pioneer Square, bringing much-anticipated new life to one of the city’s most historic and original neighborhoods. The new 216-room hotel marks the second in Seattle for the community-minded, tech-forward hotel brand, which will open its citizenM Seattle South Lake Union location in April.
The community gathering and public groundbreaking will be celebrated on Wednesday, February 26th at 3:30 PM at 60 Yesler Way in downtown Seattle, with representatives from the owner, operator and developer citizenM, the general contractor Mortenson, and leaders of the Alliance for Pioneer Square offering spoken remarks.
Part of a portfolio of new locations opening across the country, the 10-story, 216-room hotelat Pioneer Square will be citizenM’s newest under development. With three U.S. hotels open already in New York City and Boston, the new citizenM hotels underway include locations in Los Angeles, San Francisco, Seattle, Miami and Washington, D.C.
citizenM’s new presence in Pioneer Square highlights an important milestone for the historic lot that sat empty for years. Originally home to Seattle’s first saw mill, the corner lot will now represent the neighborhood’s evolution into one of the country’s premier cultural and art districts, with affordable-luxury brands like citizenM leading the way. True to the brand’s commitment to integrating art into its properties both inside and out, for Seattle Pioneer Square, citizenM’s selection committee has commissioned a local artist, Ryan! Feddersen, to create a large mosaic art installation on the new hotel. citizenM, with the help of 4Culture, held an open-call invitation to local arts and chose Ryan! with a local selection committee. The hotel building will be wrapped in a brick-and-glass façade, inspired by the context of the historic neighborhood.
“We’re thrilled to call Pioneer Square one of our new homes and excited to start work,” said Ernest Lee, head of development and investments for citizenM North America.“This will beour second property in Seattle, coming off the heels of the opening in South Lake Union, and we will now be able to provide guests options at both ends of the city. In addition, we’re looking forward to having a front-row seat at the Seattle waterfront redevelopment, one of the country’s most exciting public projects.”
As with the citizenM South Lake Union location, the team behind citizenM Seattle Pioneer Square includes long-time partner, Amsterdam-based firm Concrete, who designs all citizenM hotels, the architecture firm Gensler and general contractor Mortenson.
“Mortenson is proud to be partner with citizenM in their continued development in Seattle, and we are eager to play a role in bringing more visitors to Seattle to enjoy and celebrate the history and character of the Pioneer Square neighborhood,” said Nate Jenkins, Mortenson Market Executive.
Located across the street from the Seattle Ferry Terminal and just four blocks from Occidental Park — the heart of Seattle’s largest art gallery district — the 66,918-square-foot citizenM Seattle Pioneer Square is perfectly situated to offer future guests direct access to over 30 art galleries, novelty boutiques, craft bistros and cafés, and most of all, Seattle’s authentic history. Key attractions in Seattle’s “original neighborhood” include some of the most exciting destinations in the city, such as the CenturyLink Field, Klondike Gold Rush National Historical Park, historic King Street Station, and Waterfall Garden Park, sited on the footprint of the original American Messenger Company business.
With citizenM Seattle Pioneer Square, the citizenM brand continues to build on its ambitious rollout, which by 2020 will reach 40 properties either open or in development globally — more than doubling its current portfolio. In North America alone, citizenM has a dozen hotels under development in major markets that include Seattle, San Francisco, Los Angeles, and Washington, D.C., with its third U.S. hotel opening this past August at Boston North Station. The brand has additional properties under development in Miami, Chicago and Austin. Reflecting its impressive growth trajectory, earlier this year citizenM secured GIC, the sovereign wealth fund of the Government of Singapore, as a new investor with a 25 percent stake, valuing citizenM at €2 billion.
Since its founding in 2008, citizenM has upended the rules of traditional hospitality by introducing the concept of “affordable luxury for the people.” The company’s approach starts with selecting well-connected locations in the world’s most popular cities, so business and leisure guests spend the shortest possible time commuting. Each property offers a streamlined, luxury experience — including high-tech amenities, friendly and efficient service, comfortable guest rooms, and spacious and inviting living areas filled with contemporary art and iconic furniture brands from the 21st century, such as Vitra — all at an affordable price.
citizenM’s philosophy of “affordable luxury” is best experienced in the guestrooms. The rooms will be smartly furnished with “everything modern travelers need, and nothing they don’t.” All guestroom features are designed to be the very best: the beds will be XL king-size wall-to-wall with an extra comfy mattress and luxury bedding. An LED/LCD widescreen TV will offer a library of on-demand entertainment, plus streaming options via free super-fast Wi-Fi. A relaxing rain shower with full-size shower gel and shampoo (as well as giant fluffy towels) will soothe all long-and short-haul travelers. The room ambiance will be fully controlled by an iPad –the blinds, the TV, even the lights with changeable colors.
citizenM intends to keep growing as a fully integrated owner-operator in selected gateway cities arounds the world. In addition to citizenM’s established pipeline in the largest U.S. cities, the company is eyeing further afield, and will consider expanding further into its existing markets, as well as new markets such as Toronto, Silicon Valley, Nashville, and Denver. citizenM considers ground-up development sites, office conversions, components of large mixed-use projects, or conversions of existing hotels. The company will also selectively consider “asset light” transactions.
The citizenM philosophy is ‘affordable luxury for the people’, offering guests all the luxuries they would expect from a high-end hotel in a prime location, but without sky-high prices. citizenM was founded by Rattan Chadha, the founder and former CEO of the fashion brand Mexx. The first citizenM hotel opened at Amsterdam’s Schiphol Airport in 2008, followed by citizenM Amsterdam in 2009; citizenM Glasgow in 2010, and citizenM London Bankside in 2012. Rotterdam, New York and Paris locations followed in 2014. In 2016, two more hotels were added to the London portfolio: citizenM Tower of London, and citizenM Shoreditch. In 2017, citizenM opened Paris La Defense and Paris Gare de Lyon hotels. Also in 2017, the company moved into the Asian market, with its first location at Taipei North Gate. citizenM New York Bowery began welcoming guests in autumn 2018, with citizenM Boston North Station following in summer 2019. Further announcements about expansion in the US, Europe and Asia will follow soon.