The Penguins are getting some new digs for fans to go along with their new $325 million hockey arena. The Penguins announced that they, along with Horizon Properties group will open a 142 room hotel right next to their new 18,000 seat arena.
The hotel, which broke ground today, is the first step in developing the area around the new arena. The hotel will be a Cambria Suites Hotel, part of the Choice Hotels chain. It will include a 10,000 square foot restaurant, indoor pool and spa and a fitness centre. In addition, the hotel promises two LCD flat screen tv’s, cd/dvd player and MP3 jacks in every room.
In addition to the area where the hotel will be located, the Penguins have promised to develop the 28 acres where Mellon Arena is located. Mellon, the igloo shaped former home of the Penguins is to be razed once the new Consol Energy Center opens across the street. This area of town, known as the Uptown and Lower Hill Districts have been ripe for revitalization.
The new arena and surrounding developments should help bring people back to this part of Pittsburg. The Penguins have been given a 10 year option on developing the land. The option requires that the Penguins develop at least 10% of the land each of the ten years, or risk losing all or part of their development option. The area is planned to be a mixed area, with office, residential and retail developments, however few specific details about the developments have been decided.
The new arena is expected to open in September of 2010, to accommodate next year’s hockey season and the $25M hotel shortly thereafter. The Penguins plan to have the hotel available for hockey fans next year.