Downtown Denver’s appeal as a business, convention, and leisure travel destination continues to grow, as a new hotel development planned for the corner of 15th and California will introduce both Starwood’s Le Meridien and Marriott’s AC hotel brands to the Denver market.
White Lodging, the Indiana-based hotel developer that completed the 17-story Convention Center Embassy Suites hotel in December 2010 and that is currently under construction with the 21-story dual-brand Hyatt Place/Hyatt House project at 14th and Glenarm, is planning another hotel project near the Colorado Convention Center. Here’s a Google Earth aerial where I’ve outlined the project location at 15th and California, followed by a Google Earth street view photo of the site:
Not only does this development bring two new prominent international/urban-oriented hotel brands to Downtown Denver, but it also represents the first example in the area of a single project that mixes brands from two different hotel flags. The dual-brand hotel concept is a cost-effective way to add new hotel properties to the downtown market. It eliminates the expense of constructing a separate tower for each brand and it allows for the sharing of amenities like fitness centers, pools, and meeting rooms. Separate registration areas and signage help maintain the brand distinctions within the building. In addition to White Lodging’s dual Hyatt at 14th and Glenarm, Downtown Denver’s other dual-brand hotel is the Homewood Suites/Hampton Inn adaptive reuse project at 15th and Welton.
The new hotel tower will rise 20 stories, with the Le Meridien lobby facing California Street and the AC lobby facing 15th Street. Here are two renderings, courtesy of White Lodging and their project designer, HKS Architects. The second image shows the tower’s lower levels from virtually the same perspective as the Google street view image above:
According to White Lodging, the tower will contain a total of 480 rooms, with 272 rooms for Le Meridien and 208 rooms for AC. The project also includes 12,500 square feet of meeting rooms. The preliminary schedule shows a July 1, 2017 grand opening.
A big win for Downtown Denver’s convention and tourism industries, this project is also a big deal from an urban form and pedestrian perspective as well. It replaces an ugly, soul-sucking surface parking lot with a solid building form with good ground-floor transparency. That is worth celebrating!