- Construction of citizenM’s modular 11-story, 315-room hotel in Los Angeles is nearing completion, although it may be some time before it can open its doors for guests, the Los Angeles Times reported.
- Mortenson began construction on the hotel for the Dutch company — craning prefabricated rooms into place like building blocks — in March 2019, well before the coronavirus pandemic broke out. Work continued through the outbreak.
- When the hotel is complete — it was topped out in late 2020 and is nearly finished, according to a citizenM spokesperson — it will open in the second half of 2021, becoming the third modular and sixth hotel in the U.S. overall for the company.
Despite the coronavirus pandemic, citizenM has taken a bullish approach to U.S. projects, opening citizenM Seattle South Lake Union (pictured above) in the summer, and citizenM Washington DC Capitol in October. The company also broke ground on hotels in Boston and a second one in Washington, D.C., where construction prices were lower than their pre-COVID projections.
CitizenM’s prefabrication model allows the company to keep costs down and pass the savings on to guests, the company claims. Building each room in a factory, from the mounted TVs to the built-in furniture, and delivering it to the site cuts weeks off of the construction timeline.
Using modules constructed like shipping containers and with the same dimensions — 54 feet long and 8 feet wide — the cost savings mainly comes from speeding up the work as the price of materials is comparable to traditional construction, the Los Angeles Times reported. Structures like hotels are good candidates for this type of construction, modular experts say, because they call for uniformity.
Finished modules for the Los Angeles project were shipped from China to California before they were craned into position on a foundation that Mortenson constructed. Water and electrical connections were run through hallways, and a brick and concrete facade was added to the exterior.
Hoteliers’ reactions to the coronavirus pandemic has been varied.
Marriott International pulled back on the number of hotel rooms in the company’s pipeline — decreasing from 516,000 to 510,000 in Q2 2020. Nevertheless, Marriott CEO Arne Sorenson indicated the coronavirus’ economic impact would likely decrease construction costs, which could lead to more projects breaking ground.
Meanwhile, Hilton increased the number of rooms in its pipeline from 405,000 to 414,100 in Q2.
This story has been updated regarding the number of modular hotels citizenM has built in the U.S.