Hampton Inn Construction To Begin

The latest Decatur Focus announces that the new hotel on Clairemont is on its way…

Downtown Decatur is getting another hotel. Anyone who has tried to book a room recently at the Decatur Marriott Courtyard knows how frequently it is full. Decatur’s proximity to downtown Atlanta, Emory and CDC, easy access to the Atlanta airport on MARTA and the ability to walk to a number of local retail and restaurant options continue to attract a growing number of visitors to our city.

The new 132-room Hampton Inn and Suites will allow Decatur to host more medium-size conferences at the city-owned conference center. The conference center has enough meeting space but there aren’t enough available hotel rooms to allow it to be used to its full capacity. Building permits for the new hotel have been approved and construction should begin this month.

City arborist Kay Evanovich worked closely with the hotel owner to arrange to have 17 trees relocated from the hotel site to Glenlake Park. Next time you visit the park, look for the new grove of trees located in the upper area of the park near the soccer field.

New Hotel Planned for Site Along Clairemont Avenue

clairemont

After receiving a tip from a reader, DM confirmed with Decatur Asst. City Manager Lyn Menne that a new hotel is planned to be built on the land adjacent to the Courtyard by Marriott along Clairemont Road in downtown Decatur, just off the Square.  She provided this additional information about the project…

Vision Hospitality out of Chattanooga TN has plans to construct a 138 room hotel at 116 Clairemont Avenue adjacent to the Marriott Courtyard.   The proposed hotel will be similar to a facility Vision Hospitality developed in downtown Chattanooga that is very impressive.  The addition of these hotel rooms will allow us to attract some larger, regional conferences to the adjacent conference center.   The conference center is larger than the available hotel rooms at the Marriott can accommodate so the additional rooms at the new hotel make the center more marketable.  The Marriott hotel sales team supports the idea.   

They did request and receive a parking variance.  Our current parking requirements for a hotel are 1.25 parking spaces per room.  However, existing parking information from the adjacent Marriott showed that less than 25% of their allotted parking spaces in the conference center deck are used by hotel guests.  This number was confirmed by a check of similar hotel parking facilities in downtown Atlanta, Midtown and Buckhead.  Most hotel guests are arriving by transit or taxi and are not using a personal vehicle.   Keeping parking requirements down to actual use requirements allowed us to limit the size of the parking deck behind the building and assure that investment dollars could be spent on making the hotel facility as nice as possible.  

Photo courtesy of Parker Cross

A First Look Inside Decatur’s New Courtyard By Marriott

And by “look”, I mean it in the singular.

You may or may not recall that Decatur’s old-is-new-again Courtyard By Marriott reopened to the public today.   Scott snapped this photo for you armchair hotel interior enthusiasts.

Decatur Courtyard by Marriott Sign Goes Up

Dave sends in this pic from Clairemont Road, as the new Courtyard by Marriott sign goes up at the old Holiday Inn.

A new era of hospitality is upon us!!  Can you taste it!?

Decatur Old Holiday Inn Lookin’ Good

New windows and a dark brown roof and suddenly the old Holiday Inn is beginning to look like a building that might one day hang the sign “Courtyard by Marriott”.

Forecourt. By Marriott.

Be forewarned: This may get wonky.

I figure that’s okay. With DM working the daily, well-reasoned news and perspective angle, Daren staking out the purview of “hare-brained schemes,” and Andisheh reminding us that, boosterism aside, we’ve still got problems to solve, wonky is pretty much what’s left. Which is fine. It suits me.

Recent talk about the Holiday Inn to Courtyard conversion got me thinking. Most, if not all, of the comments so far have focused on, at the micro-level, the quality of the accommodations or, at the macro-level, the hipness factor and overall economic benefit to Decatur. But what about the space in between those two extremes — the day to day quality of life for the people who live here?

The Holiday Inn was considered a coup when it was built because it fulfilled a key goal of 1982’s Town Center plan and, I think overall, it has been a successful addition to downtown. Nonetheless, from a design perspective, it’s really worked in spite of its design rather than because of it.

It’s as though, when it was built, someone said, “Shame about the location” and simply shoehorned their standard, just off the interstate, hotel template into the site rather than embracing the street and Decatur’s vision for downtown. But perhaps the Courtyard conversion presents an opportunity to correct that.

That’s right. I’m talkin’ ‘bout terraces.

Continue reading “Forecourt. By Marriott.”

Decatur Holiday Inn to Become “Courtyard by Marriott”

Decatur’s Linda Harris sends along this press release…

Noble acquires the former Holiday Inn Atlanta Decatur Hotel and Conference Center

184-room hotel to undergo a comprehensive redevelopment and be rebranded as a Courtyard by Marriott

ATLANTA, Ga.-May 24, 2011- Privately held Noble Investment Group (“Noble”), today announced the acquisition of the former Holiday Inn Decatur Hotel and Conference Center in the heart of downtown historic Decatur, Georgia. Located within close proximity to the 631-acre Emory University campus, Emory HealthCare, and the Center for Disease Control, the hotel boasts 184 rooms and suites as well as 15,000 square feet of meeting and event space in the adjoining Decatur Conference Center. Noble will immediately begin a comprehensive redevelopment plan and upon completion, will convert the property to the Courtyard by Marriott brand.

“We are excited to source this off-market opportunity in a high barrier to entry market with strong and diverse demand generators,” said Rodney Williams, Noble’s chief investment officer and a managing principal. ”Noble’s ability to physically enhance, reposition, and rebrand the asset, will enable us to maximize operating performance and add substantial value to this investment.”

Continue reading “Decatur Holiday Inn to Become “Courtyard by Marriott””