Business

What’s going on with hotel construction in downtown? Developers waiting for this approval

A project that will transform a currently gutted corner of Broadway and 12th Street into a boutique Hampton Inn hotel remains stalled by corporate red tape, according to Cassie Myers, director of marketing and public relations for Valley Hospitality.

Valley Hospitality, a Pezold Company, will operate the new hotel, which is a Hilton property.

Signs posted at the construction sign point to an opening date of late 2019 or early 2020, but Myers said the development of a parking plan has delayed the process.

“We’re anxiously awaiting Hilton’s approval of the parking deck so we can begin construction there,” Myers said Wednesday.

She said the parking garage will be built beside the hotel and will have to be constructed first.

Construction is still set to be completed within a 12-month period, with the start of construction imminent, she said.

The hotel has been in the works since at least 2016 and has seen several delays during the plan review phase.

The hotel design had to be approved by Hilton, and the new exterior was recently approved by the Uptown Facade Board, a city entity that regulates facades, exteriors and signs downtown.

Plans are for a $12 million, five-story structure with 88 hotel rooms, an indoor pool, meeting rooms and parking deck.

Buildings at the future site of the hotel at 1201 and 1205 Broadway and 1205 Front Avenue, which formerly housed Aaron’s Rents and Phenix Finance, were demolished at the end of 2018, leaving a hole next to Mr. Ed’s on Broadway.

Myers said the company is also currently working to stabilize the building that houses Mr. Ed’s.

Tracy Sayers, Pezold Management Chief Operating Officer, announced the plans for the hotel in June 2016, stating the work would be a mix of renovation and new construction. The costs for that plan exceeded projections, and Valley Hospitality decided to tear down the buildings and construct a new hotel on the site. Sayers confirmed those plans in January 2017.

The new plans were drawn by Bounds, Gillespie, Killebrew, Tusher. 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 $27 million Columbus State University College of Education and Health Sciences complex directly across 12th 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, according to Jack Pezold, president of Pezold Management.

“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.”

Valley Hospitality also currently owns and operates the downtown Marriott at the corner of Ninth Street and Broadway, as well as manages the Cannon Brew Pub and the Rivermill Event Center.

Other hotels owned or managed by Valley Hospitality include the DoubleTree on Sidney Simons Boulevard, a Hampton Inn in north Columbus on Bear Lane, Hampton Inn Fort Benning, Hampton Inn LaGrange, Towneplace Suites, Fairfield Inn and Suites, Springhill Suites Houlihan’s DoubleTree, Houlihan’s Marriott, Fife and Drum Restaurant inside the National Infantry Museum and the upcoming City Mills hotel.

Ledger-Enquirer archives were used in this report.

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