Uptown Charlotte’s newest hotel opened for business Tuesday, punctuating the rebirth of a condo tower project whose problems once made it one of uptown’s most visible commercial real estate failures.
The 172-room Hyatt Place hotel, located in the 22-story Skye Condos building at Caldwell and Third streets, boasted full occupancy Tuesday, thanks to a computer database convention.
“It’s a great way to start,” said General Manager Don Lockhart, whose opening-day duties included fetching throw pillows for the couches in the 10th-floor lobby.
The building, previously known as The Park, was billed as an uptown luxury condo tower when it was announced in 2000. But the project went into foreclosure after the developer ran into problems. The rusting, unfinished shell sat dormant before Small Brothers Real Estate Development bought it out of foreclosure in October 2009.
Reconfigured as a mixed-use tower, it has 67 luxury condominiums, ground-floor retail space, an open-air rooftop restaurant and the Hyatt Place hotel.
The location puts the new Hyatt Place just a couple of blocks from the Hyatt House on East Trade Street. Officials said the Hyatt House caters to extended-stay clients, while the Hyatt Place focuses on short-term guests.
The Hyatt Place and Skye condos share the ground-floor entrance, but the hotel has dedicated elevators for its 10th-floor check-in lobby.
Rooms tend to be bigger than normal hotel rooms given the building’s former status as a condo-only tower. A one-bedroom suite going for about $279 a night included three TVs, a conference room table and kitchen.
Pamela Wolff, a regional sales director for Prospera Hospitality, the firm operating the hotel, said uptown Charlotte is proving to be one of the stronger hotel markets she’s seen on the East Coast.
Lockhart agreed, noting that Time Warner Cable Arena, the Carolina Panthers and the Epicentre entertainment complex are all helping drive hotel stays in the center city.
“There’s so much to do uptown now that hotels are thriving off of it,” said Lockhart, who previously served as general manager of the Hyatt House down the street.
Pre-sales of the tower’s condos have now crossed the halfway mark, officials said, adding that the sales pace is picking up as the economy recovers and the building edges toward completion.
Prices range from the $200,000s to $2 million each for two penthouses above the rooftop restaurant. The restaurant, Fahrenheit, is expected to open in January.
Frazier: 704-358-5145; @Ericfraz on Twitter
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