Jestico + Whiles-designed leisure complex for Starwood Hotels & Resorts to take place of demolished landmark in Leicester Square

Developer and contractor McAleer & Rushe is building a £200m leisure-based scheme for Starwood Hotels & Resorts in London's Leicester Square, on the site of the Swiss Centre.

Following demolition of the Swiss Centre, a Jestico + Whiles-designed scheme featuring the international luxury brand W is being constructed on the 0.2ha West End site.

The 19,500m2 scheme, which will be the first W leisure complex in the UK, will include 194 hotel rooms and 10 two-level, luxury-branded homes, as well as 9,300m2 of retail space at ground level and a 2,300m2 leisure unit in the basement.

Eamonn Laverty, managing director of McAleer & Rushe, said: “Our design team led by Jestico + Whiles have worked closely with Westminster City Council to achieve what we believe will be an iconic building which will be a fitting contribution towards the regeneration of Leicester Square and assist with driving further tourism and leisure business into the West End of London.”

Westminster City Council plans to upgrade the physical environment of Leicester Square, with McAleer & Rushe contributing through the planning gain agreement put in place as part of the planning permission for its redevelopment.

The scheme is due to open in 2010, when the UK will also gain a second W development, in Manchester. Starwood Hotels & Resorts already has 23 W leisure complexes in cities around the world.