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Old 05-08-2018, 07:33 PM
 
Location: 304
4,975 posts, read 6,533,053 times
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https://www.wvgazettemail.com/busine...cf70a433a.html

Wow this is something! Looks like they will build a free standing building after demolishing the Sears building. This is the same company that wanted to build a hotel on the Holly site.

Last edited by Chriscross309; 05-08-2018 at 08:00 PM..
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Old 05-08-2018, 07:57 PM
 
615 posts, read 362,088 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chriscross309 View Post
https://www.wvgazettemail.com/busine...cf70a433a.html

Wow this is something! Looks like they will build a free standing building after demolishing the Sears building. This is the same company that wanted to build a hotel on the Holly site.

I read that quote about free-standing also and I do not believe it for a second. It will be connected to the town center as well as the parking garage. otherwise you do not spend that much money on a site if you do not take advantage of all that it offers. If they hold true to the blurb they put out a year, we are looking at something more than 10 floors up to 15.


Now, we have to ask ourselves what is going to happen to the old Fifth Quarter site that was torn down to make room for a hotel?


I can't help but be a bit concerned at the loss of 250,000 square feet of prime retail space in the mall. I would prefer the hotel to go in the original location and a new retail outlet go into Sears, but it would seem the Masons made a mess of the negotiations over the original site. Beni Kedem has been a thorn in the side of the Civic Center and CURA for decades, not a surprise.
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Old 05-08-2018, 08:07 PM
 
Location: 304
4,975 posts, read 6,533,053 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Caden Grace View Post
I read that quote about free-standing also and I do not believe it for a second. It will be connected to the town center as well as the parking garage. otherwise you do not spend that much money on a site if you do not take advantage of all that it offers. If they hold true to the blurb they put out a year, we are looking at something more than 10 floors up to 15.


Now, we have to ask ourselves what is going to happen to the old Fifth Quarter site that was torn down to make room for a hotel?


I can't help but be a bit concerned at the loss of 250,000 square feet of prime retail space in the mall. I would prefer the hotel to go in the original location and a new retail outlet go into Sears, but it would seem the Masons made a mess of the negotiations over the original site. Beni Kedem has been a thorn in the side of the Civic Center and CURA for decades, not a surprise.
The Fifth Quarter site needs something, because as a gravel lot it is an eye sore. I agree that it should have been the site for the hotel, with Sears being used for something else, but I'm glad that someone is doing something! If the mall can hold on a little longer, eventually when the Civic Center is fully operational and there is a Hilton, Marriott, Embassy Suites, Sheraton, and 3 other hotels all within walking distance, then the mall should have enough incentive to attract a buyer first off and stores and restaurants afterwards. The Civic Center is going to position Charleston with the ability to host some big events and conventions. The hotels will help feed that, and vice-versa! The mall will have no choice buy to grow with the incoming visitors to the area.

I hope you are right about the hotel being connected, and also at least 10 stories.
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Old 05-09-2018, 05:49 AM
 
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At the risk of getting way ahead of the substance, we can glean some ideas of what the new hotel will have to consist of at that site. We can take our clues from the Town Center Marriot across the street from Macy's. Even though Town Center mall has parking next to the Marriot via the elevated deck, the Marriot still has its own parking facility. I expect the new Hilton/Something to have the same set up.


In spite of the size of Sears, the size of the footprint is not that much different from the Fifth Quarter location and the issue at hand are a bit different: the Town Center would present a 3 floor wall on one side and a 6-floor parking garage with flying bridge at floors two and three.


As a more expensive brand, Hilton/Something is going to want to offer its guest something to see from their window besides a blank wall of a mall or worse, a peer into the parking garage. I would assume that the new hotel's parking facility would run the entire edge of the Town Center garage from the mall to the curb and be at least as tall. it may have other services in that section such as offices, guest services like a gym, dining and a pool, but it will be there to act as a buffer to the operations of the garage. It may keep the flying bridge though, it is a nice one and would allow for access to over-flow parking.


This pushes the access circle to the corner of Clendenin and Quarrier, because well, that makes the most sense to me. The hotel at this juncture would be angled across this corner with street access from both streets meeting at the main door. The rest of the footprint is the hotel tower. But, we have to host 3 floors or so of generic usage before we get up to guest rooms, the view has to be considered. Originally they spoke of 150 rooms and after a bit of skimming around, 150 seems to be the minimum for a property to break even assume 90% average occupancy at this price point. There is likely to be some corporate suite leasing but a minimum size would be roughly 150 rooms. Hotels tend to see 18 to 24 rooms on a floor. I have gone with 18 because the footprint is still a tensy bit tight.


If we assume that the lobby is the main floor and 2 additional floors above are devoted to support services to clear the height of the mall and to connect to the mall that pushes guest rooms from the 4th floor and up. Floors 4 through 10 would give us 144 rooms; six rooms shy. Another floor of 18 brings us to 162 and 11 floors. At this point we can guess what might in the minds of the developers. Embassy has 11 floors, Marriot has 15 and both seem to do rather well. This might be the most the developer wishes to do or they might take on the assumption that this location works well for them and plan for future growth. Four more floors to bring it to 15 would also bring the property to 216 rooms instead of Marriot's 262. Those numbers could be off a bit and more than 18 rooms per floor achieved. The trend has been to business suites, which are a bit larger than conventional rooms so I went with the lower number.


I think we end up with something no less than 11 floors and perhaps as much as 15. More would be wonderful but it is not that realistic. If we did get 18 per floor and went for a room total like Marriot that bring the new hotel to 18 floors with 270 rooms.
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Old 05-09-2018, 06:20 AM
 
349 posts, read 195,274 times
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This raises many questions with me. First, with the track record of proposed developments around here I really wonder if it will even be built? Second, is putting a hotel there even the best use of that space? Third, if they do build it what exactly will they build? Will it be a small, squat and aesthetically unappealing structure or will they construct something really nice that would add to the very stagnant skyline and freshen up the area around it?
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Old 05-09-2018, 08:40 AM
 
615 posts, read 362,088 times
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Originally Posted by JohnNada View Post
This raises many questions with me. First, with the track record of proposed developments around here I really wonder if it will even be built? Second, is putting a hotel there even the best use of that space? Third, if they do build it what exactly will they build? Will it be a small, squat and aesthetically unappealing structure or will they construct something really nice that would add to the very stagnant skyline and freshen up the area around it?

The proposed property that failed to get final approval was further east on Quarrier, was a Homewood Suites. It had 8 floors I think, but my memory may be off. It wasn't bad looking and that developer has been all over town trying to build a hotel. He has been to that site, tried to get the mayor to help him land the spot where Charleston-Kanawha Health is next Marriot and then there was the Fifth Quarter site. I believe he wants to drop some pennies but has faced one problem after another.


I would not prefer this location for a hotel. I think the old Fifth Quarter location is much better but the Mason's are hard to deal with at times and they do not want to move their location which EVERYONE wants gone. I would have selected the block where the now closed Goldfarb Electric sits collecting dust and grime, but for some reason, no one thinks about that location.


If it is small and squat the owners run the risk of looking a converted mall anchor. If they are going through the expense of buying the Hilton/something brand and dropping the dollars to meet that standard, I doubt it will be a property any smaller than the Embassy, which is probably as small as it can be and still have reasonable profit expectations.


I have stated before that the now Holiday Express, opened as a Sheraton and when plans were drawn up, it was supposed to be 22 floors but then Marriot came into the market and killed those plans. Now we have a squat hotel that screams cheap-o-motel and it gets no notice from anyone of the Marriot-Hyatt-Hillton class.
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Old 05-09-2018, 10:39 AM
 
1,351 posts, read 1,255,098 times
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IF they do intend to build a free-standing structure, it makes more sense to build on the Fifth Quarter property.
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Old 05-09-2018, 11:38 AM
 
349 posts, read 195,274 times
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May be a bad omen but the portfolio of hotels listed on their website does not bode well for the type of structure that might be built here. It’s basically a bunch of 2 to 3 story Hampton, Days Inn and Comfort Inns. Yikes...
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Old 05-09-2018, 12:15 PM
 
1,351 posts, read 1,255,098 times
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John, looking at the Hilton brands, they own Embassy and we already have one of those so my guess is we'll see one of their brands close to that one.

Hilton has been rolling out more of their Home2 Suites brand over the past year or two. I've stayed in one and it has a very modern design, layout and vibe. I wouldn't be surprised if we see one of those come out of this development. While it isn't a luxury brand of Hilton, I enjoyed my stay and thought the hotel was very nice.
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Old 05-09-2018, 12:36 PM
 
349 posts, read 195,274 times
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My biggest concern is not the brand but the type of structure that’s going to be replacing a valuable part of the mall if the mall ever rebounds or has a second life. Even though Hilton itself has several brands this developer does not have anything in their portfolio that appears to show that they have constructed much beyond interstate exit hotels versus urban design. After viewing their properties I don’t come away with very high expectations. Maybe they are ready to branch out and go in a different direction but their properties don’t show anything indicating that.
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