By Lucy Berry
June 16, 2016
Work will begin this month on a new-to-Alabama hotel at one of the city’s most anticipated projects in downtown Huntsville.
RCP Companies and Yedla Hotel Management confirm grading will start before the end of June on AC Hotels by Marriott, a proposed 150-unit boutique hotel at CityCentre at Big Spring at the old Holiday Inn site, which was razed in January 2015. Vertical construction will follow early this fall.
The hotel will be the 10th U.S. location for AC Hotels, a global joint venture with Spanish hotelier Antonio Catalán. Yedla Management Company, which owns and operates Starwood, Marriott and Hilton franchises, will run the property.
RCP Director of Acquisitions and Asset Management Odie Fakhouri said the hotel will be customized for Huntsville and have integrated new restaurants with rooftop bars and outdoor terraces overlooking Big Spring International Park.
“The results are delivery of a special hotel experience that resonates with the local market and embodies a unique personality within the brand,” he said in a statement.
Plans to get started on the European-inspired hotel were delayed last year due to an internal impact study by Marriott, which determined the property will not pose an unfair competitive advantage over other Marriott brands in the city. Fakhouri said the hotel will be complete by next summer.
CityCentre at Big Spring, a $100 million project, will also feature a 12,000-square-foot artisanal food hall called The Public Market designed by The Gravity Company, an Orlando consulting firm. Ray Schaefer, founding partner of The Gravity Company, said food halls offer a “snapshot of a community’s culinary and cultural identity.”
The food hall at CityCentre will be inspired by Ponce City Market and Krog Street in Atlanta, Eataly in Chicago and The Source in Denver.
“Food halls are a part of a culinary trend spreading throughout the U.S., born of an era in which the old way of buying and consuming is new again,” Schaefer said. “They celebrate emerging talent and give small purveyors a chance to display their creative skills in a brick-and-mortar location.”
More CityCentre details are expected this summer.
The project as a whole will feature approximately 50,000 square feet of retail, upscale homes, structured/street-level parking, and regional and local cuisine. It will also have pedestrian crossings, bike pathways, walkways and a linear park that connects visitors to Big Spring Park, the VBC, Twickenham Square, medical district and other nearby properties.
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