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Downtown Pittsburgh's Saks store to become 174-room Moxy Hotel

Developers plan to turn downtown Pittsburgh's former Saks Fifth Avenue store into an upscale apartment complex. Moxy Hotels, a division of Marriott, will occupy the 174-room hotels.


Moxy describes itself as a “boutique hotel with the social heart of a hostel” and “a free-spirited place where you can do all that crazy fun stuff you’d never think of doing at home.”


The Smithfield Street site will be Moxy’s first in the Pittsburgh region. The hotel, which made its debut in Milan, Italy, in 2014, currently has a dozen locations worldwide, including Tempe, Ariz; New Orleans; New York City and Nashville, Tenn.


Millcraft Investments, which is taking the lead in the project’s second phase, selected Moxy for several reasons, including its Marriott affiliation, said Lucas Piatt, president and CEO.


He described the hotel as “sleek,” “edgy” and affordable. Mr. Piatt believes it will pair well with the residential portion of the project, which involves the construction of 56 loft apartments above a 582-space parking garage.

“This unique hotel flag is focused on affordable luxury in the core of the city with local boutique feel,” Mr. Piatt wrote in a text message. “Edgy designed common areas and rooms, a fun, active lobby, smaller room sizes, it is part of Marriott and its top-notch reservation system.”


Marriott teamed with Swedish furniture maker Ikea to create Moxy, which specifically targets millennial travelers in its approach.


Guests will find moderately priced rooms — about $130 a night in Pittsburgh — with flat screen TVs with access to Netflix, YouTube, Hulu and other services; free Wi-Fi; and several power and USB outlets.

They also can use their smartphones as their room key by downloading a Marriott app.


Moxy calls its lobbies “living rooms with a bartender.” Based on reviews, guests will find lots of seating, a full-service bar, a coffee bar and a large self-service area stocked with drinks, snacks and meals, all accessible at any time. There also are free games.


The hotel is part of a much larger development planned for the former Saks site. The $35.5 million first phase, scheduled for completion in October, includes the parking garage and 30,000 square feet of retail space. Fogo de Chao, a Brazilian steakhouse, has been signed to take up about a third of that space.

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