Construction is planned to start soon on the InterContintental hotel and Carolina Theatre restoration, and that could – hopefully – lead to a mid-2019 opening for the project.
Euan McGlashan, co-founder and managing partner of hotel developer Valor Hospitality, said construction on the hotel tower will start once work on the theater and its facade reaches about the seventh floor. The 250-room hotel tower will be over the five-story theater, which Foundation for the Carolinas plans to renovate and restore, with its facade incorporated into a new lobby behind a new “jewel box” exterior.
The foundation has leased Valor Hospitality the air rights over the theater. McGlashan said they plan to treat the building as one construction project, and the theater and hotel will share some mechanical systems.
“I think what’s critical now is construction gets started as soon as possible on the theater portion,” McGlashan told the Observer. Foundation CEO Michael Marsicano said last month that he expects construction on that $42 million project to start in May. Construction had originally been planned to start in mid-2016, but was delayed.
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“We’re heavy into the design and architectural planning,” said McGlashan. “We’ve really got our heads down...There are so many moving parts to what we’re trying to do.”
Constructing the new tower around and on top of the vacant theater building makes the project more complicated, he said, with the building’s footprint largely dictated by the theater.
“It makes it more difficult because you’re effectively designing something that’s in the air,” he said. McGlashan said one reason they decided to build an InterContinental hotel is that IHG, the parent company, allows a greater range of designs for that brand.
The theater building dates to 1927, and was once one of Charlotte’s grand theaters. Since it closed in 1978, the building has sat vacant and deteriorating. In the 1980s, the city dismantled the old building facade’s windows, arches and exterior ornaments, storing them under the crumbling stage.
There’s a host of new hotels headed to uptown. These projects include:
▪ Embassy Suites, across from the NASCAR Hall of Fame (250 rooms, opened last month).
▪ Kimpton, next to Romare Bearden Park (217 rooms, opening in October).
▪ Springhill Suites, across from the Spectrum Center (195 rooms, opened this month).
▪ AC Hotel/Residence Inn, atop the EpiCentre (300 rooms, opening in late 2017 or early 2018).
▪ Ivey’s, 127 North Tryon Street (42 rooms, opened this month).
▪ Grand Bohemian, on Trade Street (254 rooms, starting construction soon).