New $20 million downtown hotel headed toward final approval

By CAITLIN BOWLING | InsiderLouisville | 

The eight-story, 133-room Homewood Suites downtown only has one more hurdle left before construction can begin.HW-Suites-Louisville-Rendering

The Land Development and Transportation Committee was expected to hear the case Thursday, but it was continued until April 6.

Glenn Price, the attorney with Frost Brown Todd, said his clients Tim Mulloy and Steve Poe opted to continue the case while they work out a few additional project details with the Louisville Department of Public Works.

Mulloy, head of real estate management company Mulloy Properties, owns the land at 635 W. Market St, which is currently a surface parking lot. He has partnered with developer Poe, who will build the Homewood Suites. Poe Companies recently completed the 175-room Aloft hotel at Main and First streets downtown.

Unlike some other development projects, this one won’t go before the Board of Zoning Adjustment or the Planning Commission. Pending approvals from the Land Development and Transportation Committee, construction is expected to start this summer and take about 14 months, putting the opening around late summer or early fall 2017.

The hotel will include an indoor pool, a fitness center, an outdoor terrace with a fire pit, meeting space, a business center, a pantry for guests and a dining area. Homewood Suites guests will park in the city-owned parking garage at 601 W. Jefferson St.

The first-floor facade will be made out of a beige stacked stone or brick, according to Jae Chong, an architect with Atlanta-based PFVS Architecture, but the exterior of the upper levels will be a composite material called EIFS. It will look like granite, Chong said.

The Downtown Development Review Overlay Committee approved plans for the new hotel on Wednesday, with only one vote against. DDRO committee member Ed Kruger took issue with the use of EIFS, which he described as “typical suburban inexpensive material.”

“I’m thrilled to see finally one of the larger surface parking lots in downtown Louisville be on a mission to destruction,” Kruger said. But “I do have extreme reservations though about the project exterior materials, mainly because I think we are not in accordance with our guidelines.”

Glass, steel, precast concrete and brick are more in line with buildings already downtown, he said. EIFS is used on “second-tier hotels.”

After the meeting, Poe said using EIFS comes down to cost and energy efficiency. “We’d love to build really, really expensive buildings, but that means we’d need to have really, really high hotel rates.”

Other members of the DDRO present didn’t agree with Kruger.

“It’s very creative for Louisville in the context of the urban setting,” committee member Milton Haskins Jr. said.

 

Via InsiderLouisville

What’s Behind the Dual-Brand Hotel Trend?

Robert Car • National Real Estate Investor

A new trend in the hospitality sector, dual-branding, is drawing strong industry interest, with developers and operators trying to double up offerings at a single property.

•••

There had been a number of dual-brand properties announced or launched in recent months. White Lodging is building and will manage a 495-room, dual AC Hotel by Marriott and Meridien Hotel by Starwood in downtown Denver. The developer has also started construction on a 32-story, 422-room Aloft and Element hotel in downtown Austin, Texas, which it will own in a partnership with REI Real Estate Inc. and Poe Cos. Noble Investment Group and IHG have a joint venture to develop a 235-room EVEN Hotels and Staybridge Suites combo in downtown Seattle.

Read the full story here.

overall south elevation

Another Hotel Joins Downtown

By Sheldon S. Shafer • February 4, 2016 • Courier Journal

A Homewood Suites hotel that will cater to extended stays is planned on a surface parking lot on the northeast corner of Seventh and Market streets, a half-block from Louisville City Hall.

HW-Suites-Louisville-Rendering

A partnership headed by Louisville investor Steve Poe plans the eight-story, 34-room hotel that will be operated under a franchise agreement with the Hilton brand Homewood Suites. Poe estimated the investment in the project at $23 million.

Read the full story here.

Corner Carnival opens up Aloft Bar

Poe Companies with partners REI and White Lodging opened up its latest Hotel and Bar with a “cirque” twist on Thursday November 12, 2015. The event featured performers, signature cocktails, and puppies – yes puppies because Aloft Louisville is the only pet-friendly hotel in downtown Louisville.

Aloft Louisville Downtown Opens

By Hotel News Resource • November 5, 2015

IMG_2948

Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Inc.® (NYSE:HOT) today announced that its  Aloft brand has entered Kentucky with the opening of Aloft Louisville Downtown. Owned by Poe Companies, REI Development and White Lodging, and managed by White Lodging Services Corporation, Aloft Louisville Downtown is designed for the hyper-connected global traveller with 175 spacious loft-like rooms, tech-forward innovation and a buzzing social atmosphere.

“The vibrant city of Louisville is a great choice for the Aloft brand’s debut in Kentucky,” said Brian McGuinness, Senior Vice President, Specialty Select Brands for Starwood. “Aloft recently topped 100 hotels worldwide and continues its phenomenal growth, propelled by the success of its cutting-edge design, innovative technologies and active social scene.”

Located on the city’s revitalized Whiskey Row, Aloft Louisville Downtown is a short stroll to the Kentucky International Convention Center, the KFC YUM! Center, the Evan Williams Bourbon Experience and the Frazier History Museum. The hotel also provides convenient access to Churchill Downs – home of the Kentucky Derby, Fourth Street Live!, Actors Theatre of Louisville, the Kentucky Center for the Performing Arts, and the art galleries, boutiques and restaurants of the NuLu district.

Hotel facilities include a 24-hour gym, 2,750 square feet of flexible meeting space for both business meetings and social gatherings, re:fuel at Aloft – a one-stop gourmet grab & go food and beverage area – and Corner Restaurant & Bar, the hotel’s cocktail bar and eatery featuring more than 60 bourbon selections as well as locally-inspired pairings, such as a jerky and bourbon special. The dog-friendly, open-air patio and indoor space creates an approachable vibe on the historic Whiskey Row with a full bar featuring daily homemade cocktails, draft regional microbrews and wine selections. A new arrival to 1st and Main Street,Corner is a standout addition to the downtown Louisville scene.

“We are proud to introduce Starwood’s popular Aloft brand to Louisville and expect this sleek, new hotel will appeal to both business and leisure travelers visiting Derby City,” said General Manager Mark Batchik. “The opening of Aloft Louisville Downtown also marks another step forward in the redevelopment of the historic Whiskey Row.”

“The opening of the Aloft Hotel in downtown Louisville is an exciting part of the nearly 2,000 new rooms coming to the market in anticipation of the expansion of the Kentucky International Convention Center,” said Karen Williams, Louisville Convention & Visitor’s Bureau president and CEO. “In addition, from a leisure standpoint, its opening is perfectly timed for the resurgence of Whiskey Row and our growing Urban Bourbon Experience.”

The Aloft brand’s innovative and exclusive initiatives set it apart from the competition. Aloft Hotels recently announced the launch of SPG Keyless – an evolution of Aloft’s Smart Check-in – the hospitality industry’s first mobile, keyless entry system allowing guests to use their smart phone as a key. The technology is rolling out to all Aloft, Element and W Hotels Worldwide by year’s end. This forward-thinking initiative is part of the brand’s innovative DNA. Additionally, every Aloft Hotel around the world offers live, free access to local emerging artists and some of the hottest bands with Live@Aloft Hotel programming.

Aloft remains the fastest growing brand in the history of hospitality with 100 hotels in 16 countries now open and the company’s second largest pipeline. Fueled by accelerating demand in dynamic markets worldwide, Aloft continues to enter new markets including Munich and Stuttgart, Germany as well as expand its portfolio in Greater China to ten hotels by year’s end.

With 100 hotels open now in 16 countries around the world, Starwood’s Aloft brand delivers a fresh approach to the traditional staid hotel landscape.