Millennium Hotel Sets Sights on Sunnyvale

Almost a decade ago, the Four Points Sheraton Hotel in Sunnyvale was demolished and plans were underway for the construction of a posh Millennium Hotel on the 9-acre parcel. Millennium is a high-end, ‘designer’ hotel comparable to the Ritz Carlton, known internationally for their full-service amenities and exquisite properties. Found the world over in such cities such as London, Shanghai, Dubai and Paris, this would have been the hotel’s premiere Northern California location. But the economic downturn short-circuited the project until recently.

With the Silicon Valley economy once again on a steady upswing, Millennium is revitalizing the project at Sunnyvale’s 1250 Lakeside Drive. The newly proposed plans include over 260 guest rooms and 250 apartments adjacent to the hotel.

“At this point, the market has returned, and it’s time to get it going again,” said Kurt Wittek, of Wittek Development, Millennium’s development consultant. “Currently, if you try to get a room during the week, you’re usually shocked at the rates. And the stadium’s proximity adds a whole lot of promise for weekend business.”

This bodes well for the Silicon Valley as a whole, now a place that merits such a luxury hotel as local companies look for more venues to host meetings and conferences. Sunnyvale itself would benefit financially from the hotel taxes, which would be much more lucrative than other hotels within its boundaries.

While the hotel would be targeted primarily at business travelers, city officials stated it would also provide services residents would find beneficial.

“Having a full-service hotel that also caters to people using the facilities on the weekend, if they want to host a weekend event, a wedding, something off hours — that’s a good amenity for the city,” said Connie Verceles, Sunnyvale’s Economic Development Director. “Meeting space is something we don’t have a lot of, and we do have plenty of demand for that.”

Millennium acquired the property and had approval to move ahead back in 2005 but placed it on the backburner until this year. The project remains very similar to the original, although the design of the hotel has gotten a bit of a makeover. The 6-story glass and aluminium courtyard building centers around a man-made lake, with public pathways that connect the hotel with the 7-story residential section. A 3,000 square foot restaurant would sit lakeside and project also includes 13,000 square feet of meeting space.

“They’re not trying to do something that’s cookie-cutter,” Wittek said. “They’re looking to establish a unique presence in the marketplace, with an experience-oriented hotel with some iconic architecture.”

In part due to the improved economy and the draw of Levi Stadium, Silicon Valley is becoming a burgeoning hospitality hotspot. As such, a fair number of other full-service hotel projects are either underway or in discussion, including a Marriott in Menlo Park and a boutique 23-room Clement Hotel in Palo Alto. And Sunnyvale itself is attracting at least three additional high-end projects within its city limits. Whether all of those come to fruition remains to be seen.

In the meantime, watch those 9-acres of land situation between Lawrence Expressway and highway 101, because the Millennium Hotel is ready to commence construction as soon at they’re given the green light.