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Old 10-27-2016, 01:04 PM
 
Location: 304
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I know the name Hyatt has been thrown around, but honestly it could be a number of different brands. I would love to see an Omni, but I know those typically are in larger cities and are more "elite".
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Old 10-27-2016, 02:10 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Chriscross309 View Post
I know the name Hyatt has been thrown around, but honestly it could be a number of different brands. I would love to see an Omni, but I know those typically are in larger cities and are more "elite".


The list is pretty short if we are talking to three top of the line brands as sated in the article. None of the existing hotels in town want to add additional stock. Marriott has just done so and it would certainly not be them. Hyatt is a partner with Embassy and the Embassy has done very well in Charleston. The other top hotel in town is the Four Points by Sheraton. That property has just had an expensive reconstruction of the old Holiday/Best Western branding.


As for the size of the property. We have seen one quote stating that there would be roughly 150 rooms and another stating that there will be 130 employees. I assume most of the 130 employees are part time. This would produce a property of some size. 130 employees is a lot. I think these are ball park figures and not actual hard data.


If the site does not expand onto the grounds currently in use by the Beni Kedem Temple that leaves very little real room for a hotel and its required parking. None of the Civic Center or Town Center garages are contiguous so I do not think they can be added as an asset by proxy.


This means that either the new hotel sits atop the parking facilities adding at least two and possibly three floors to the total height or it sits adjacent to the parking facilities and both structures are forced upward because they lack square footage at the street level. The underground option is not a big option, the Kanawha River has a high water table downtown - recall that last spring when the Elk River was lapping at the back door of the Civic Center.


But, we can assume circumstances and technology and a bit more distance work in our favor and we can get one underground garage level across most of the footprint. We still need at least 2 more levels - one at street level and one elevated to the second floor.


Modern hotel floor plans for this size footprint usually squeeze 24 rooms per floor of singles, 12 per floor for suites and about that in business suites. Hotels also include an in house restaurant, banquet facilities and meeting spaces with some decent square footage allocated to ball rooms; usually set up so that all of the flex walls can come down to create a grand ball room for major functions.


These types of services are all wanting to be on the ground floor which is going to be a tough squeeze in this small footprint. In addition to these public faces of the hotel there are all of the back of the house services, the kitchens, laundry and hvac systems and in the modern area and not too small computer center to handle the wifi and hotel media services. In addition to the restaurant there is also usually a lounge or bar which has its own space demands.


All in all, a lot of things need space and most of them want to be on the ground floor. Even if you can find the space, top of the line hotels are not built like cracker boxes packing people in like sardines.


If this space can't get more property space it can only go up because down is not much of an option.


24 rooms per floor for the casual traveling class is probably a minimum of 4 floors.
18 rooms for business and 18 rooms for suites adds at least 2 more floors. There might be a 3rd floor added for expanded suites that top of the line hotels often have. That is 7 floors; 6 at worst.


The first floor is a double height floor that has a partial mezzanine level and both have direct access to the garage. This is where it gets cramped. We have to have at least 4 10,000 square foot ballrooms that are located in a way to merge into a grand space. This btw is a very small amount of meeting space. We also need to provide banquet setup and support next to these rooms. There needs to be a direct outside entrance and convergence area where these rooms meet the visitor.


Next we need to fit in the kitchen to support not only banquets but the in-house restaurant and bar as well as room service. The kitchen is going to need walk-in coolers, freezers and dry storage as well as some limited office space.


---break---


I do not know why I get carried away with this stuff...I did manage a plaza hotel for a long time in my work life so I guess that is why....I should probably just stop here, no one cares to read my dribbles abut this....


Suffice it to say I think we are looking at a property with at least 12 floors and I would not be surprised it if hit 14 or 15 with this limited footprint.
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Old 10-27-2016, 07:44 PM
 
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Actually, I quite like these ramblings.
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Old 10-27-2016, 11:02 PM
 
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Originally Posted by elewis7 View Post
Actually, I quite like these ramblings.

I appreciate the vote, I really do.


If the few quotes we are getting are the results of studies having been done or are being done in some preliminary format then we have to consider the timetable. One of the latest quotes speaks of a ground breaking in March of 2017. If that timetable is true - a maximum of 5 months - then some things do not add up. Permits would have been submitted to the city stating the name of the brand coming in or if they are using a dummy, the name of the dummy corporation would be announced as well as the primary contractor and likely some of the subs. These subs are required to conform to state laws to some extent and their names would be out there. If this project is 100% privately financed then this circuit can be avoided and we would not know.


But the city would at least have on its traffic board the start date and estimated duration of the build so that it can manage flow and utilities to the to and around the site, especially when one considers on the other side of the street the Civic Center reconstruction is going full tilt.


I am not sure what to make of these news quotes as they do not come off very well planted in the normal order of site construction. Most buildings have a long lead time tied to them and this one seems to be more on the order of a whim. Such things can happen but I have not seen it before in Charleston or heard of such things in a city the size of Charleston.


If true though, we are looking at a different layout than exists at Embassy or Marriott. More than likely the first guest floor is the 4th floor as I see no way to get a full floor devoted to guest rooms below that level with the limited footprint. If we assume 24 rooms for floor and we need at 2/3 of our rooms to be casual class guests to pay the bills that means at least 4 floors or 96 rooms. Our profit money is going to come in our restaurant for this class and for the use of other services such as masseurs, concierge and valet, which may or may not be standard to this package level. It should be for a top of the line hotel but it is not at either Marriott or Embassy.


Extended stay visitors take the next 2 floors and because of the layout of such suites there can only be half as many. So that is another 24 rooms on 2 more floors. It has been somewhat standard for hotels to have at least one floor of long term lease or executive rental if the market has such a demand. I will assume Charleston has such a demand and add one. That is another 12 extended executive suites.


Finally we add two floors of lux suites. These are laid out like the extended stay suites except their are two master and 2 master baths. The extra room puts a premium on space here but is not the equal of a full suite so we get 8 per floor. Two floors should suffice for Charleston.


Finally we get what I call the suites from hell they have 2 bedrooms, a living area and an attached bonus room that can serve as a private business room or some other use with certain legal restrictions. They are popular with families that travel from all over for a weekend thus the HELL reference. There are usually only 6 on a floor.


Adding this all up we get 4 service floors, 4 casual floors, 2 extended floors, 1 executive floor, 2 lux floors and 1 floor of hell. I will go out and assume that the hotels restaurant has no room on the ground and that both the lounge and eatery is on the top floor. That gives us 15 floors and 158 rooms.


To show how tight this location is, the Marriott has 14 floors above ground and has 275 rooms.


Now if we are to venture a guess that the hotel is being built in phases and that a second phase includes the moving of the temple next door, then the hotel has lost all real need to grow upwards and we would end up with a 6 or 7 floor high rise.
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Old 10-28-2016, 06:43 AM
 
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I'm willing to bet it'll be a phased ordeal. As much as I'd like to see a larger tower like that, it would make sense for the Shriners to maximize their investment on their property and get a new meeting space out of all this. Are there situations where a hotel and a civic entity like them co-own/operate banquet and meeting spaces?
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Old 10-28-2016, 07:29 AM
 
1,356 posts, read 1,056,466 times
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Originally Posted by elewis7 View Post
I'm willing to bet it'll be a phased ordeal. As much as I'd like to see a larger tower like that, it would make sense for the Shriners to maximize their investment on their property and get a new meeting space out of all this. Are there situations where a hotel and a civic entity like them co-own/operate banquet and meeting spaces?


Sort of, the Masons in Erie, PA own a 8 story (might be 7) building and the top 3-4 floors they keep as their own and the rest of the building is rented out to another company. One of the floors is used by both groups as need arises.
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Old 10-31-2016, 02:57 PM
 
Location: Pittsburgh
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The Embassy Suites is a Hilton brand not Hyatt. Hyatt does not operate any properties currently in WV. If it is a Hyatt I'm sure it will be a Hyatt Place, their budget brand similar to Marriott's budget brand Courtyard or Fairfield. We could only be so lucky to get a real Hyatt just like we don't have a real Hilton......only their budget brand Hampton Inn and their mid priced line Embassy Suites. The Marriott also has 350 rooms not 275. The proposed Hilton budget hotel on Quarrier Street (Homewood Suites) was 100 rooms on 7 floors. This might be similar in size and scale. Could it even be the same developer?
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Old 10-31-2016, 03:59 PM
 
617 posts, read 364,050 times
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Originally Posted by CRWMSPPGH View Post
The Embassy Suites is a Hilton brand not Hyatt. Hyatt does not operate any properties currently in WV. If it is a Hyatt I'm sure it will be a Hyatt Place, their budget brand similar to Marriott's budget brand Courtyard or Fairfield. We could only be so lucky to get a real Hyatt just like we don't have a real Hilton......only their budget brand Hampton Inn and their mid priced line Embassy Suites. The Marriott also has 350 rooms not 275. The proposed Hilton budget hotel on Quarrier Street (Homewood Suites) was 100 rooms on 7 floors. This might be similar in size and scale. Could it even be the same developer?


I guess I could have worded my segue better. I was not trying to say Hyatt was part of the Hilton brand. I was pointing out that the exist higher end brands - Marriot 7 Courtyard, Sheraton (Four Points) and Hilton (Embassy Suites) already had - seemingly - all of the stock in Charleston that they felt they needed. I was trying to then list 'other' higher end brands that might make up the "three top of the line" brands per the quote.


I also believe that it will be a Hyatt Place vice a more upscale Hyatt. I also do not think it will be a 3rd Wingate by Wyndham - already have one in Dunbar and the one coming in Cross Lanes.


The remaining principle upscale brands in this category are:


Hyatt Place - Hyatt Hotels
Radisson - Carlson Rezidor Hotel Group
Clarion - Choice Hotels
Drury Plaza Hotel - Drury Hotels


And a slim possibility of due to it being an upper upscale brand:


Omni - Omni Hotels and Resorts


Of those offerings, I prefer the Hyatt Place > Clarion > Radisson > Drury. I do not think Omni would be a wise choice for the Charleston market.


When I was doing my estimation, I used the work done on the defunct Homewood Suites at 100 rooms and 7 floors. The quotes list circa 150 rooms and circa 130 employees. The footprint available for the Fifth-Quarter is shaped differently and is slightly smaller. There is also no available open air parking that can be added by proxy to the new site vice the Homewood Suites' proposed location. All of these difference are somewhat minor but they push the floor count up.


A straight increase of 50 floors from 100 to 150 pushes the new location to 11 floors. Taking into account the slightly smaller footprint pushes that again up another floor - being conservative and that takes it to 12. Assuming that parking must be onsite and not adjacent as it was going to be at the Homewood Suites location, that adds at least 2 floors (above ground) and brings the property to 14 floors. If there is not space for a restaurant and lounge on the first floor, they will have to be placed on the top floor - which is common in high end properties and that brings the construction to 15 floors.


This sounds very much like a property intended to feed off of the convention business much more so than it does the casual traveler that finds their way to the existing high end properties.
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Old 11-01-2016, 08:16 AM
 
Location: Pittsburgh
106 posts, read 87,333 times
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another nice addition to the Charleston hotel scene would be a Crown Plaza........Intercontinental Hotel Group's upscale Convention brand above a Holiday Inn but beneath their Intercontinental luxury hotels. Crown Plaza just announced this summer the addition of 200 new build hotels to their inventory. No list yet out. They also own the HI Express across the Street and operated the Charleston House for years so they know the market. Would be a nice pickup.
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Old 11-01-2016, 06:13 PM
 
617 posts, read 364,050 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CRWMSPPGH View Post
another nice addition to the Charleston hotel scene would be a Crown Plaza........Intercontinental Hotel Group's upscale Convention brand above a Holiday Inn but beneath their Intercontinental luxury hotels. Crown Plaza just announced this summer the addition of 200 new build hotels to their inventory. No list yet out. They also own the HI Express across the Street and operated the Charleston House for years so they know the market. Would be a nice pickup.


Having stayed in Crown Plaza properties in the past I can easily agree that would be a great addition to the stock, but I am uncertain about the addition of a Holiday, even one gussied up to look shiny and new. Columbia Sussex ran the Holiday brand into the dirt in Charleston when they had control and I don't think anyone here has forgotten that.


The Holiday Express was originally supposed to be a 22 floor Sheraton that died in the final stages. Just why has been speculated upon but the property has never profitable as built even with the downgrading to an Express.
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