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LES hotel inventory to triple over the next few years

For years the Lower East Side has been changing from a low-income immigrant neighborhood into a chic playground for young professionals. But with 13 new hotels in the pipeline — tripling the number of hotel rooms in the neighborhood over the next few years — those changes will be solidified, according to the Lo-Down.

In the next few days, four new hotels are scheduled to open, boosting the existing inventory by approximately 30 percent. Six other projects in various stages of construction – four of which are on a two-block strip along upper Orchard Street – will add another 900 rooms. And three other recent proposals — a 130-room boutique hotel in the landmarked Jarmulowsky Bank building on Canal Street, a 376 room hotel/condo combination building on Chrystie Street and a Broome Street project – are currently seeking regulatory approval.

“This is a sign that the world outside the neighborhood is interested in what the Lower East Side has to offer,” Jonathan Miller of Miller Samuel, said. “And the math works because hotel occupancy rates are at an all-time high.”

However, the hotel boom on the LES may just be a symptom of a larger trend, as the number of hotels expands across Manhattan. In 2011, New York City hosted more than 50 million visitors. To accommodate the city’s growing number of visitors, developers will have added more than 100,000 hotel rooms, with 40 percent of them being built since 2006, by the end of 2014, according to NYC and Company data cited by the Lo-Down.

“The absolute numbers that New York City is producing are unprecedented,” said Jan Freitag, a senior vice president with Smith Travel Research, which tracks hospitality trends and provides market data to hotel developers worldwide. “Manhattan is an outlier; everyone wants to be there. Manhattan is hot.”

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