After a series of stops and starts, the Pezold Companies is now ready to move forward with plans for a new downtown Columbus Hampton Inn, Jack Pezold said this week.
Demolition of the buildings at 1201 and 1205 Broadway and 1205 Front Avenue are scheduled to start next month. The buildings were formerly occupied by Aaron’s Rents and Phenix Finance. The buildings are at different addresses but are connected structure.
The entire project is expected to cost about $12 million, said Tracy Sayers, Pezold Management Chief Operating Officer. That includes about $1.4 million in acquisition costs for the property and the demolition costs.
“We will start demo on the interior of the building in the next three weeks and the demolition of the exterior will come right after that,” Pezold said.
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The demolition permit is in hand, but there are a couple of steps that must be taken before construction of the parking deck and hotel can begin.
▪ The building’s exterior is currently under review at Hilton Worldwide, the parent company for Hampton Inn.
▪ The new exterior will also have to be approved by the Uptown Facade Board, a city entity that regulates facades, exteriors and signs downtown.
“We don’t anticipate any problems because it’s not radical,” Pezold said.
Pending approvals, construction could begin early this summer, Sayers said. The construction project will take about 12 months.
The entrance to the hotel and the front of the building will face 12th Street, according to architectural renderings.
In June 2016, Sayers said that Valley Hospitality would build a “boutique hotel” in the Aaron’s space. The plan was to build it with a combination of new construction and renovation.
The costs exceeded projection and sent Valley Hospitality back to the drawing board to tear down the Aaron’s building and construct a new hotel on the site. Sayers confirmed those plans in January 2017.
The revised plans, which received regulatory approval from the Columbus Facade Board, called for demolition of the existing four-story brick structure. They are replacing it with a six-story building that will house 88 hotel rooms and possibly a top-floor conference center.
There were still cost overrun issues, Sayers said.
The new plans have been drawn by the architectural firm Bounds, Gillespie, Killebrew, Tusher, Sayers said. The Memphis architects have done a number of Hampton Inn projects across the country.
The original plans for the Hampton Inn on that location were drawn by Barnes/Gibson Partners, a Columbus firm that designed the Columbus State University building across the street. As the Pezold Companies decided to go from a custom designed hotel to more of a standard Hampton Inn look, Valley Hospitality turned to a firm that specializes in that kind of job, Pezold said.
“We continue to have a strong relationship with Valley Hospitality and are working with them on ongoing projects,” said Barnes/Gibson partner Will Barnes.
The latest concept will fit in with downtown and compliment the revitalization of the 1200 block of Broadway, Pezold said.
“It will be a little bit more contemporary than it had been before,” Pezold said. “This is their brand new concept on the exterior. So, we took the advantage of looking at it price wise and got everything inside that we wanted.”
The hotel will be a five-story building with 88 rooms that will include an indoor pool and several large meeting rooms. There will be a 100-space, two-level parking deck facing Front Avenue.
The builder will be Bill Caudill Construction of Hamilton. Caudill, formerly with the late Larry Phillips, has been involved with a number of projects with Valley Hospitality.
Pezold said they would be open to collaboration with the city, Columbus State University, W.C. Bradley Company and building developer John Teeples to explore expanding the parking deck to accommodate more users. W.C. Bradley owns or controls everything across Front Avenue from the new hotel. CSU’s Frank D. Brown Hall, which houses the education and nursing programs, is across 12th Street and Teeples owns and plans to develop the 1200 Broadway building across the street.
“At some point in time, downtown always needs more parking,” Pezold said. “We need 100 parking spots. We will do that, but to take it to 200 stalls, that would make a lot more sense.”
The Hampton Inn will be the second Pezold-owned property along Broadway. He owns the 177-room Marriott at the intersection of Ninth Street and Front Avenue, adjacent to the Columbus Convention & Trade Center. Valley Hospitality also owns and operates the Cannon Brew Pub, a 1000 block restaurant between the two hotel sites.
Valley Hospitality also owns and operates three additional Hampton Inns, one in north Columbus, one next to the National Infantry Museum and one in LaGrange. They have a number of other hotels, including the DoubleTree by Hilton off Airport Thruway in Columbus
The Hampton Inn will be one of two new hotels under construction this year in the 1200 block of Broadway. In December, Columbus-based RAM Hotels finalized the purchase of the Raymond Rowe property at 1225 Broadway. Their plans call for a 106-room AC Hotel, an upper end Marriott property.
Demolition for that project has not yet begun. The Hampton Inn has been in the planning phase longer than the AC Hotel and will likely be the first one to open.
“We will be here before they are and we feel quite certain about that,” Pezold said.