The Marcy-Holmes neighborhood is expected to see construction start on a new hotel catered to University students and families by fall 2018.
The development, undertaken by DJR Architecture, Inc., includes multiple projects on the block between 8th and 9th St. SE and the adjacent area along 6th St. SE. It features a five-story mixed-use building which will house a 61-room hotel and two four-story apartments. The development has drawn support from the Marcy-Holmes Neighborhood Association and was approved by its board on May 15.
The proposed site currently contains three buildings most recently used by the Chem/Serv Inc. as a warehouse and distribution center. Two existing buildings will be demolished to make space for the hotel and a parking lot while the third will be partially renovated.
Scott Nelson, director of architecture at DJR, said the five-story building also includes a common activity space, independent restaurant, office space and coffee shop. A pathway will allow pedestrians and bicyclists to travel between 8th and 9th St. SE.
The apartments’ proximity to downtown and transit may attract a mixture of residents in addition to students, said Nelson. He said the hotel will have a unique “university focus” in the industrial area.
“There’s a lot of high-tech business start-ups in the area that have people come in from out of town. [The hotel] will allow them to stay in the immediate area and have entertainment close by,” Nelson said. “We see it as a great unfound location for a small hotel.”
Ward 3 City Council member Steve Fletcher said Marcy-Holmes is gaining more economic interest and that neighborhood residents would benefit from increased housing options.
"Hopefully it adds options. Cities get really boring when they have cookie cutter hotels,” Fletcher said.
Marcy-Holmes currently has two existing hotels in the area. University Inn is located near Dinkytown and Hotel Alma is housed above Cafe Alma on University Ave.
The development is in accordance with the neighborhood’s plans for the area, said Chris Lautenschlager, executive director of Marcy-Holmes Neighborhood Association.
“We want there to be development up there, we want it not to be just a residential area but a place where small businesses can thrive and get started,” Lautenschlager said.
MHNA hopes the hotel will be geared towards University uses, such as serving students and faculty and providing a space for conferences.
“[The hotel] won’t be one of those corporate chain hotels you see over in Stadium Village or downtown. This will be a unique, one of a kind hotel,” Lautenschlager said.