By Ruth Bayang
NORTHWEST ASIAN WEEKLY
A dream nearly two decades in the making is now a reality. July 10 was the grand opening of the Hyatt Regency Lake Washington hotel in Renton — the only waterfront hotel within 10 miles of SeaTac Airport, and the Hyatt Regency brand’s third Seattle-area hotel.
Located on the Southport campus, the new 12-story, 347-room hotel, was built by SECO Development and financed with its own equity and money from mostly Chinese investors through the federal government’s EB-5 immigrant investor program. For this particular project, the EB-5 program granted permanent residency to immigrants and their families who invested $550,000.
When SECO first bought the site that became the Southport campus in 1999, a power plant originally stood in its place overlooking Lake Washington, a symbol of Renton’s blue collar roots. Min Christ, an immigrant from China whose husband Michael founded SECO, hopes the new hotel will bolster Renton’s image.
Renton Mayor Denis Law called the Christs “visionaries.”
“They changed the landscape of this town,” said Law. “They bought the property 17 years ago from Puget Sound Energy, when there was no Seahawks [training facility] or The Landing. And they waited for the right time to build …We (the city of Renton) are the benefactors.”
Local residents are also benefactors. This new hotel created 175 jobs for local employees.
Among the hotel’s highlights is an Asian-inspired Northwest fine dining restaurant called Water’s Table. It has 236 seats and a terrace with outdoor dining overlooking the lake. Water’s Table offers breakfast, lunch, dinner, happy hour, and weekend brunch, open 6:00 a.m.–10:00 p.m. daily. Water’s Table is led by Executive Chef Vincent Savignano, a 20-year culinary veteran.
Other features include a 24-hour StayFit gym, a dedicated yoga room, an indoor saline pool, and an on-site, full-service spa with three serene treatment rooms.
Michael Christ said, “We kept on pushing and pushing [to the highest quality].” He said the hotel has achieved it.
Christ was excited to tell the Northwest Asian Weekly that the whole hotel was fully booked for a convention on July 17. The hotel’s niche is convention business.
The hotel offers 347 state-of-the-art guestrooms and 60,000-square-feet of indoor and outdoor event space, all designed with feng shui principles. The 12-story building is located on the southeastern shore of Lake Washington, among a lush natural setting with panoramic views of the Olympic Mountains and the Seattle skyline.
Peter Sears, Hyatt Regency’s Executive Vice President and Group President–Americas came all the way from Chicago for the grand opening. He said, “We are very proud of our latest addition to the family. This is a world-class hotel.”
Sears called the hotel “a reinvestment in the community.”
There are more than 175 Hyatt Regency locations in over 30 countries around the world.
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