Groundbreaking of Cortex Aloft Hotel

Sunny skies and cooler temperatures added to the festive and standing-room-only celebration of the groundbreaking of the new Cortex Aloft Hotel. On hand to offer welcoming remarks were Linda Martinez, Deputy Mayor for Development; Kitty Ratcliffe, CEO of Explore St. Louis; Hank Webber, Chairman of the Board of Directors of Cortex; Steven Roberts, State Representative – District 77; and Joe Roddy, 17th Ward Alderman. David Robert, CEO of Midas Hospitality (the project’s developer) acted as the emcee for the event. The official ceremony marked the start of the construction of the first boutique hotel in the Cortex district. The 100-plus attendees included Cortex board members, local politicians, Wexford Science and Technology executives, Midas Hospitality employees, Cortex staff and community members.

“The Aloft Hotel is a new jewel in the big, successful development of Cortex, a national center for entrepreneurship,” Hank Webber, Executive Vice Chancellor and Chief Administrative Officer, Washington University & Chairman of the Board of Directors of Cortex Innovation Community.

The new 129 room Hotel is scheduled to open fall of 2019. The Aloft brand is designed to appeal to the next generation traveler, offering a tech-forward hotel environment, with sleek, understated guest rooms, vibrant shared spaces, and amenities that enhance social engagement. The Cortex Aloft will have its signature WXYZ entertainment bar on the second floor, featuring a glass Nana wall that opens to a balcony overlooking the Cortex Commons. Live@Aloft will feature live, acoustic performances from local artists, providing opportunities for relaxed business meetings or rendezvous with friends. A freestanding restaurant on Duncan Avenue will provide hotel guests and Cortex clients a new, convenient dining venue.

Total development costs for the Cortex Aloft Hotel are approximately $28 million. The hotel’s architect is Gray Design Group, and MC Hotel Construction will build the facility. MC is a subsidiary of Midas Hospitality.

Dennis Lower, President & CEO of Cortex, said, “For several years our Cortex clients have urged us to develop a hotel in the District. We can now check this off the wish-list of amenities that support the business needs of our tech companies. The Cortex Aloft will be a vibrant lodging and meet-up destination that adds to our goal of becoming a 24/7 business, residential and retail district in St. Louis’ higher education and medical corridor.”

David Robert, CEO and Managing Member of Midas Hospitality, added, “Midas is thrilled to be selected as the District hotel developer. The Aloft hotel brand is a perfect complement to the continued development of the Cortex Innovation Community. It is a purpose-driven design that reflects and appeals to the values of a new generation of business traveler. It offers a ‘stay like a local’ lodging experience.”

About Aloft Hotels

With 100 hotels open now in 16 countries around the world, Starwood’s Aloft brand delivers a fresh approach to the traditional hotel landscape. For the ‘always on’ next generation of traveler, the Aloft brand offers a tech-forward, vibrant experience and a modern style that is different by design. For more brand information, visit Aloft, like all brands within Starwood’s portfolio, offers the Starwood Preferred Guest® program, the industry’s richest loyalty program. To learn more, visit

About Midas Hospitality, LLC

Midas Hospitality was established in 2006, and quickly became one of the premier hotel management groups in the Midwest. Midas has developed, opened, and managed numerous properties, including Courtyard by Marriott, Fairfield Inn & Suites by Marriott, and Residence Inn by Marriott, among others. Midas Hospitality, LLC is an owner, operator, and developer of hotels with a growing portfolio consisting of 40 hotels in 13 states, serving six different global brands.

About the Cortex Innovation Community

Founded in 2002 through a collaboration of Washington University in St. Louis, BJC Healthcare, the University of Missouri-St. Louis, Saint Louis University, and the Missouri Botanical Garden, the Cortex Innovation Community ( is a nationally and internationally recognized hub of innovation and technology commercialization. It serves as an anchor in St. Louis’ growing ecosystem of innovative startups and established companies. Cited by the Brookings Institution as a Best Practice among global urban innovation districts, Cortex is home to 350 technology-related businesses, providing a deep pool of entrepreneurial support programs available to the entire St. Louis community.

Video courtesy of STLTV

Photo credit: JP Photography