Holiday Inn Express to open downtown
Construction is underway on a new five-story hotel in downtown Columbia.
The 105-room Holiday Inn Express is under construction at the corner of Washington and Lincoln streets adjacent to the Columbia Police Department.
The hotel, being built by Sumter developer K.C. Udani, is expected to be completed in May or June of next year, architect Craig Otto said.
Otto, who also designed the nearby Aloft Hotel, said that the while the site is north of Washington Street, it is still only three blocks from the Columbia Metropolitan Convention Center and a short walk to Colonial Life Arena.
“He wanted to be near the Vista and knew the potential,” Otto said. “But sites are hard to come by. And even though it’s a block from Lady Street, the Vista is expanding.”
The hotel will be the second Holiday Inn to open in downtown Columbia.
A 10-story former office building at 1233 Washington St. is being converted into a 90-room Holiday Inn. The building is a half block from the Sheraton on Main Street.
The Champaneri brothers’ — Raj, A.J. and Nash of Lexington Hospitality — also developed the Aloft Hotel on Lady Street in the Vista.
Otto is also the architect on the Holiday Inn renovation project.
“Having two Holiday Inns downtown will be interesting,” said Fred Delk, executive director of the Columbia Development Corp., which encourages and guides investment in the Vista and other areas of downtown.
“It might be a little confusing for the guests, but those guests will be coming to Columbia and they’ll figure it out,” he said
Delk said the location is solid.
“It’s 600 feet from the Blue Marlin (restaurant) and I consider the Blue Marlin to be the center of the Vista,” he said. “That’s a pretty darn good location, good and walkable and it’s completely safe because it’s next to the police station.”
The Holiday Inn Express will include a roughly 1,000-square-foot meeting facility, a fitness room and an outdoor pool, Otto said. There will be on-site parking as well as leased parking spaces in a nearby city parking garage, he said.
The two hotels increase the number of beds downtown by about 200, Delk said.
“And we could use several hundred more,” he said. “I think they’ll come. Times are good.”