A 350-room, upscale hotel is coming to Charlotte’s skyline

A rendering of Ally Center at Stonewall and South Tryon streets.
A rendering of Ally Center at Stonewall and South Tryon streets.

A hotel tower with 350 rooms is headed to uptown Charlotte, at the site of a major development by Crescent Communities.

The Charlotte-based developer announced plans last year to build a 26-story tower for Ally Financial at the corner of Stonewall and South Tryon streets, formerly the site of a Goodyear auto shop and some parking. On Wednesday, the company said Indiana-based White Lodging will develop a hotel adjacent to the office tower.

“The look and feel of it will be truly exceptional,” said Brian Leary, president of Crescent’s commercial and mixed-use division. The hotel brand hasn’t been announced, and is White Lodging’s final decision, but Leary said it will be “an upscale, luxury, premium brand.”

“I think it will compliment the new vintage of Charlotte hotels,” said Leary, referring to hotels such as the Kimpton, Intercontinental and Grand Bohemian that have opened recently or are planning to open in the coming years. He also said he expects White Lodging to bring in strong, chef-driven restaurants.

“The food and beverage is vital,” said Leary.

The hotel at Ally Center will open in early 2021, Crescent said, and will include more than 20,000 square feet of meeting and event space, a rooftop deck and multiple places to eat and drink. The office tower for Ally Financial is also expected to be complete in 2021, standing 378 feet tall.

“You will continue to see mixed use development across our commercial and multifamily pipelines,” said Todd Mansfield, president and CEO of Crescent Communities, in a statement.

White Lodging executives said they’ve been looking at the Charlotte market for a long time.

They operate 87 hotels, including upscale properties such as the JW Marriott in Austin, Texas. That hotel, which includes restaurants ranging from burgers to upscale Italian, is an indication of the kind of hotel White Lodging will develop in Charlotte, Leary said. This also will be White Lodging’s first hotel in Charlotte.

“We have been eying uptown Charlotte for the right opportunity for several years and are thrilled to be working with Crescent to bring this exciting mixed-use development to life,” said Deno Yiankes, CEO of investments and developments at White Lodging, in a statement. “Charlotte has a young, well-educated work force and offers a great quality of life; everything we look for in a market that we believe will continue to experience strong, sustainable growth for years to come.”

The stretch of Stonewall Street near Tryon is seeing massive changes.

A block away from Ally Center, Crescent is developing a Whole Foods and 459 apartments, opening this year, and two hotels with 181 rooms each at Novel Stonewall Station. Across the street from Ally Center, on the former site of the Charlotte Observer, Lincoln Harris and Goldman Sachs are building a 33-story office tower anchored by Bank of America, the first phase of a mega-project that’s expected to include apartments or condos, hotels, office space, shops and restaurants.

More hotels are coming to other parts of uptown in the coming years as well. The Grand Bohemian, a 254-room luxury hotel on West Trade Street next to the Carillon building, is planning to break ground soon. An AC Hotel/Residence Inn dual-branded tower is opening atop the EpiCentre in March, with 300 rooms. And a 270-room Intercontinental hotel is part of the Carolina Theatre renovation underway on North Tryon Street, expected to open in 2019.

Ely Portillo: 704-358-5041, @ESPortillo