Atlanta's first Home2 Suites hotel to open this fall
Atlanta's first Home2 Suites hotel is slated to open this fall in downtown — a market buzzing with new hotel development. Walton International LLC, an affiliate that includes Arsenal Capital Partners, is developing the 128-room, extended-stay hotel at 85 Walton St. The hope is to open the doors by Sept. 1.
"This is just an amazing, miraculous location," Bill Duncan, global head for the Homewood Suites and Home2 Suites brands for Hilton Worldwide, said during a tour on Wednesday. That's because the hotel sits in close proximity to major tourist attractions including Centennial Olympic Park and the new Center for Civil and Human Rights (which will inspire the hotel's decor).
It also benefits from the nearby Atlanta Streetcar and government offices including the FBI. "Government is still the No. 1 generator of demand for extended-stay," Duncan explained.
The roughly $11 million project is transforming a circa-1910, nine-story structure. It was built by notable Atlanta architect and preservationist P. Thornton Marye, who also led the design of the Fox Theatre. Marye housed his offices in the building, and developers now look to have the building placed on the National Register of Historic Places.
"The building was really in bad repair when we took it over," said Rishi Patel, managing member of Arsenal Capital Partners. But now, the team is about 65 percent complete with construction and has saved many of the historic features including the large windows, marble stairs and terrazzo floors.
Among the hotel's features, there will be a rooftop pool and bar. The rooms will offer a “working wall" with a small kitchen and flexible working space.
Classic Intown Barbershop and Men’s Day Spa, a long-time favorite of Atlanta leaders, will be relocated on the ground-floor of the hotel.
The project received nearly $1.3 million from the Westside Tax Allocation District through the city's economic development agency Invest Atlanta. The money will help implement a building energy savings project as part of the Atlanta Better Buildings Challenge.
The hotel is only the third Home2 Suites in the country that's adaptive reuse, making it a special property for Hilton, Duncan said.
Hilton is soon to open its 50th location of Home2 Suites, a brand it launched in 2009. Atlanta one day could have as many as 10 to 12 locations, Duncan said.
"Atlanta's just a very positive market for extended-stay," Duncan said, due to its bustling convention business and the city's diverse economic development. "It's really a special area. This market has just been dynamic."
A host of new hotel projects are popping up in downtown.
Chattanooga, Tenn.-based Vision Hospitality Group in February submitted plans in Atlanta for a 9-story hotel next to the Georgia Aquarium.
Construction is nearly complete on a 150-room Hyatt House hotel by the Georgia Aquarium.
Also planned for the area in 2015 is a new Homewood Suites by Hilton. Atlanta-based Legacy Properties Group LLC intends to build the hotel along Marietta Street near Centennial Olympic Park.
Atlanta’s Portman Holdings LLC is bringing a Hotel Indigo to downtown’s Peachtree Center. The roughly 200-room hotel is taking the first nine floors of the 230 Peachtree St. office building.
And, the Georgia World Congress Center Authority is looking at a new hotel for its campus. With up to 1,200 rooms, it could be the city’s third-largest hotel when construction starts around 2018.