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New Aloft Raleigh hotel opens with a party on Hillsborough Stree

With plates of sesame seared ahi tuna and sticks of liquid nitrogen Cracker Jack lollipops making the rounds around the room, the owners of the new Aloft Raleigh hotel celebrated Thursday night with a big party on Hillsborough Street.

The party date was actually three years to the day that the owners signed the deal to buy the land at 2100 Hillsborough St. from the trustees of N.C. State University, says partner Joe Whitehouse of Bell View Partners in Raleigh.

The Aloft Raleigh hotel at at 2100 Hillsborough St. in Raleigh opened in late October 2015. The hotel's bar, WXYZ, is open nightly to both hotel guests and to the public.

"I think it's been really well accepted so far," he said.

Bell View Partners, which also includes Raleigh real estate investors Michael Sandman and Mark Andrews, is a joint-venture project with The Bernstein Companies of Washington, D.C. Also attending the event Thursday night were several of Bernstein's top executives, including Chairman Stuart Bernstein, President and CEO Adam Bernstein and Chief Operating Officer Marc Duber.

While the outdoor swimming pool isn't quite ready for water yet, tours were open into the 135-room hotel's fifth floor guest rooms with panoramic views of downtown Raleigh to the east and the N.C. State Bell Tower across the street. The hotel's on-site WXYZ Lounge bar was open for business with an open balcony view of the activity on the street and around the Bell Tower.

The building also has street-level retail spaces already occupied by the area's third Gonza Tacos y Tequila restaurant and a second location for the Jubala coffee shop.

The hotel officially opened to guests Oct. 26 and is the second of three Aloft hotel properties opening in the Triangle in a six-month period. The Aloft Durham Downtown opened Oct. 13, and the Aloft Raleigh-Durham Airport hotel near Brier Creek is under construction and expected to open by March 2016.

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