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New property has 1,000 rooms
The traditional "topping out" ceremony for the largest ever purpose hotel in London was staged last night (July 22).
The ceremony, conducted by the Mayor of London Boris Johnson, marks the completion of the external structure of the Park Plaza Hotel Westminster on the capital's South Bank.
The fully completed building with more than 1,000 guest rooms and 2,700 sq metres of meeting space, is due to open early next year.
The £350m building is owned and operated by Park Plaza Hotels which now has three properties close together on the south side of Westminster Bridge.
The other two, the County Hall and Riverbank, are both within walking distant of the new property and the three will work together for major conferences and events.
The new hotel will employ 800 people and be managed by Andrew Swindells, who formerly managed the Hilton Metropole at the NEC, Birmingham before joining Park Plaza last October.
Mr Johnson said at the ceremony: "A sparkling new hotel is just what the South Bank needs.
"I am sure it will act as a major springboard for the regeneration plans for Waterloo Station and the surrounding area, on top of creating hundreds of jobs and boosting the local economy.
"What's more, the huge investment being made today demonstrates great confidence in the future prosperity of our great city."
Boris Ivesha, Park Plaza Hotels' president and ceo, said: "We are passionate about London and are on track to deliver 5,000 beds across the capital, establishing Park Plaza Hotels as one of the city's most important hotel operators."
Park Plaza currently has 38 hotels and aparthotels with more than 7,000 rooms in its portfolio.
By the end of 2012, new projects and franchise agreements are expected to increase the number of rooms to over 13,000.
New projects under development include Park Plaza Marrakech (2009), art'otel marrakech (2009), art'otel cologne (2009), Park Plaza Nuremberg (2010), art'otel amsterdam (2010), art'otel amsterdam (2011) and art'otel london hoxton (2012).