A longtime University of Arizona-area hotel is getting a makeover.

Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, which owns the hotel at 1900 E. Speedway - formerly known as a Sheraton Four Points - has shut it down and plans to reopen in early 2013 as the trendy Aloft Tucson University hotel, aimed at people in the 20s and 30s.

Starwood has been working toward the plan since 2008, when Summit Builders of Phoenix filed plans to raze the hotel and rebuild it as an Aloft.

At that time, plans called for Aloft to have 161 rooms and no conference center. The Sheraton Four Points had 150 rooms and conference space.

Aloft hotels boast Wi-Fi, modern furniture and loft-style rooms with entertainment centers. Amenities typically include a fitness center and bars.

Starwood has created 55 Aloft hotels since starting the brand in the last three years. The Tucson conversion project follows the Aloft San Francisco Airport, which will open in the fall.

Other Starwood properties include the Luxury Collection, Sheraton, St. Regis and Westin.

"We continue to see two types of opportunities as ideal candidates for an Aloft conversion: Hotels built in the '70s or '80s in need of renovation, and unique independent boutique hotels seeking a stronger brand point of view and the ability to utilize Starwood systems," Allison Reid, senior vice president of North American development for Starwood, said in a news release.


Formerly known as the Plaza Hotel and Conference Center, the seven-story hotel at 1900 E. Speedway opened in 1971. Owned by Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, the hotel reopened in 2001 as a Sheraton Four Points Hotel. The hotel had 150 rooms and conference space.

Contact reporter Phil Villarreal at pvillarreal@azstarnet.com or 573-4130.