Development

From pink feathers to Instagram: Your first look at a quirky hotel coming to uptown

A rendering of the 15-story Moxy Hotel, at South Brevard and 4th streets.
A rendering of the 15-story Moxy Hotel, at South Brevard and 4th streets. Courtesy of Overcash Demmitt Architects.

While some hotels distinguish themselves with luxury amenities, Marriott’s latest project in Charlotte is all about selfies.

Moxy Hotels is a Marriott-affiliated brand focused on millennials, and offered in cities like New York and Atlanta, as well as locations across Europe and Asia. The approximately $40 million Charlotte site, at South Brevard and 4th streets, is expected to open in 2021, and will stand 15 stories tall with 206 rooms and ground-level retail.

There are more than 2,300 hotel rooms under construction in uptown, but Moxy developer Birju Patel, president of BPR Properties, says its target customer is underserved.

“You have all these luxury hotels coming up — Grand Bohemian, JW (Marriott), Intercontinental — they’re all great hotels and they all serve a certain segment of the market,” he said. “We felt that there was really nothing that currently existed in hotel that was this playful brand.”

Patel said the team is still working out what programming will be offered in Charlotte. But other locations feature activities like bowling alleys, arcade games and pool tables.

And perhaps the brand’s quirkiest experience is when a guest presses a code on their room phone, staff will cover their room in pink feathers.

“It’s really kind of turning the old hotel formula sort of upside down,” said Stephen Overcash, principal and founder of Overcash Demmitt Architects, which is working with BPR on the project.

Guests at the hotel will head straight to the top floor, where they check in at the bar and enjoy skyline views.

“It’s all about Instagram-able moments,” Overcash said. “Anytime you can give them unique experiences, it’s free advertising. Even a nice skyline view, they’ll be out there taking selfies.”

The small rooms have minimal furniture, and a table and chair that fold up onto the wall. That allowed the project to fit on a site that’s approximately one-third of an acre.

BPR also owns the Embassy Suites on South Caldwell Street and East Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard. And it was one of several developers behind 300 North College Street, home to entertainment options like QC Social Lounge and Lucky’s Bar and Arcade.

The project was approved for rezoning in 2018, and is expected to break ground in the third quarter of this year.

It’s one of multiple hotels coming to the market in the next few years in uptown. The Grand Bohemian, a 254-room hotel at 201 West Trade Street, is set to open in early 2020, and an Intercontinental Hotel is planned atop the redevelopment of the Carolina Theater.

A high-tech boutique hotel is opening in Little Havana. Life House Little Havana is the neighborhood’s first boutique hotel. The 33-room hotel offers private rooms and some group rooms. It will cater to “mature millennials.”

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Danielle Chemtob covers economic growth and development for the Observer. She’s a 2018 graduate of the journalism school at UNC-Chapel Hill and a California transplant.
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