New hotel planned for downtown Greenville

A Georgia hotel developer plans to open a 144-room Aloft Hotel at the corner of Washington and Richardson streets in downtown Greenville in early 2015.

McKibbon Hotel Group of Gainesville said Tuesday it would build the hotel on top of a 474-space, $12 million parking garage that the city of Greenville plans at the site.

The stylish, “select service” hotel would be seven stories tall and the garage five stories tall, creating a 12-story structure, McKibbon executives said.

They said the hotel would include a pool on top of the parking garage overlooking Washington Street. That triangular, private space also would include a fire pit, dog walk and cabana rooms opening onto the pool area.

The hotel also would have a bar and café with outdoor seating, four stories high, overlooking the public plaza that runs along one edge of the site, the executives said.

The hotel’s main entrance would be along the plaza, across from where the Tupelo Honey Café restaurant recently opened in the One development.

The city of Greenville is spending $4 million to renovate the plaza, formerly known as Piazza Bergamo.

The Aloft would be the sixth hotel along Main Street. An Embassy Suites planned at Riverplace could be the seventh.

Greenville developer Paul C. “Bo” Aughtry III said he is planning to open the 156-room Embassy Suites in a new 7.5-story building in mid-2016.

The development would include a rooftop restaurant and bar and a second restaurant in the hotel lobby, he said.

“We’re pricing the project right now, and I’m confident we’ll build the project,” Aughtry said Tuesday.

He has developed two other downtown hotels, the Hampton Inn & Suites at Riverplace and the Courtyard by Marriott next to City Hall.

The Aloft Hotel is the largest component of a mixed-use development planned at the corner of Washington and Richardson streets, one block off Main.

The plans also call for 35,000 to 45,000 square feet of offices, shops and housing along Washington Street and North Laurens Street, an alleyway that has been incorporated into the public plaza, according to Hughes Development Corp., master developer for the project.

No other tenants have been announced so far.

Wes Townson, a vice president with McKibbon, said Greenville’s downtown hotel market combines a base of business travelers with a growing tourist traffic, making for strong demand Monday through Saturday.

“This is a market we’ve had our eye on for some time,” he said.

The city’s Design Review Board is scheduled to review the plans on Oct. 3.

The hotel was designed by 4240 Architecture of Denver, the same firm that designed the two-tower One development.

The Aloft brand, pet friendly and modern in décor, is designed to appeal to younger consumers from the Millennial and Generation Y generations, the McKibbon executives said.

The brand is owned by Stamford, Conn.-based Starwood Resorts & Hotels Worldwide, which also owns the Westin hotel brand.

McKibbon previously developed Aloft Hotels in Tallahassee, Fla., and Asheville.

The company’s management arm, based in Tampa, Fla., operates 76 hotels, mostly in the Southeast.