From Beale Street to Music Row, Tennessee’s hospitality industry is singing a happy song.
Tennessee has a song for everyone. The most populous metropolitan area in the state, Nashville, is home to the Grand Ole Opry, one of the longest running weekly country music concert stages—in operation since 1925. Memphis is home to Elvis Presley’s Graceland and B.B. King’s Blues Club, and the city’s health care facilities dates back to 1911 when the University of Tennessee medical college was founded there. And Knoxville is home to the historic University of Tennessee along with the many outdoor attractions.
With so much to offer, Tennessee is currently one of the top hospitality scenes in the U.S., with a total of 51 projects with 9,050 rooms in the pipeline. According to TOPHOTELPROJECTS, Nashville tops the state with 29 projects and 6,365 rooms, followed by Memphis with nine projects and 1,217 rooms. Chattanooga rounds out the top three with four projects and 425 rooms in the pipeline.
Data provided by TOPHOTELPROJECTS
To say that Nashville is booming with construction projects would be an understatement. Some of the top brands are expanding their operations in Music City right now, and Nashville comes in second in the entire U.S. market with 38 projects and 8,027 rooms coming to that city soon, according to a TOPHOTELCONSTRUCTION December 2017 report. Driven by a legendary music scene, Nashville has become one of the fastest growing and most frequently visited cities in the country, and the rapid growth demonstrated by the TOPHOTELCONSTRUCTION database makes this clear. The fact that cities like Los Angeles and Chicago have now taken a backseat to Nashville in terms of hospitality growth says more about recent surges in the town’s popularity than anything. Where Chicago and L.A. have been popular for decades, Nashville is now really beginning to experience its own moment.
The sparkling 533-room JW Marriott Nashville is set to open in the third quarter of 2018. The new JW hotel is situated on prime real estate in Nashville’s downtown. The hotel will include 50,000 square feet of meeting space, two restaurants, and a cafe in the lobby.
Ideal for “bleisure” travelers, JW Marriott Nashville will be strategically positioned on the corner of 8th Avenue and Demonbreun Street. This prime location will put hotel guests within easy walking distance of all downtown Nashville’s major attractions, including the newly constructed Music City Center, Ryman Auditorium, the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum, Music Row, and Bridgestone Arena. At one of the city’s highest elevation points, the modern, 33-story glass tower offers stunning views from every vantage point and truly makes its mark in the Nashville skyline.
Rendering courtesy of JW Marriott Nashville.
Rendering courtesy of JW Marriott Nashville.
Talk of the town
Rendering courtesy of Dream Nashville.
Drawing from the rich history, raw energy, and inimitable swagger of its downtown neighborhood, Dream Nashville at Printer’s Alley opens in late 2018.
Developed by 4PANT, in partnership with Dream Hotel Group, Dream Nashville will be a driving force in the ongoing restoration and revitalization of downtown Nashville. Located in historic Printers Alley at Fourth Avenue North, the 169-room hotel is expected to open with six experiential dining and nightlife venues.
During the topping out ceremony for Dream Nashville in October last year, the vice mayor David Briley had said, “Dream Nashville represents where we’ve been and, more importantly, where we are going as a city. The topping out of Dream marks one more step in the right direction for the world to visit and experience this rich and energetic city.”
The site consists of four buildings: the Climax Saloon, Utopia Hotel, and two smaller buildings in between. “The Climax Saloon and Utopia Hotel were at the foundation of the Gentlemen’s Quarter, one of the most popular entertainment spots of the 19th century,” said Nashville lawyer and historian for the project David Ewing.
The development team was able to preserve the original steel stamp façade of the Climax Saloon, which first opened its doors in 1867, bringing a significant part of Printers Alley back to life, while still honoring the elegant late Victorian architecture of the neighborhood. The iconic stone exterior of the Utopia Hotel building was also fully restored with its original wood floors and crown molding. Built in 1891, the Utopia was designed by Ryman Auditorium architect Hugh C. Thompson and served as a brothel, gambling hall, and whiskey saloon.
“We picked Printers Alley because we believe in its rich history of music and entertainment,” said Alex Marks, principal partner, 4PANT.
“All of us at Dream are proud to play a role in creating what will be one of the most spectacular rehabilitations in downtown Nashville,” said Dream Hotel Group CEO Jay Stein. “We’re thrilled to introduce Dream as the new gem of Music City and a critical addition to our growing portfolio.”
Printers Alley takes its name from its early connection with Nashville’s printing, publishing, and newspaper industry, then located in the immediate area.
The full-service, 297-room The Joseph Nashville - A Luxury Collection Hotel by Pizzuti Companies is set to open in the second quarter of 2019. The property will have a strong focus on contemporary design, art, music, and cuisine and will showcase the work of Tennessee visual and performing artists. It will feature banquet and meeting facilities, restaurant, bar, rooftop spa, swimming pool, and a structured parking garage that includes 180 spaces for exclusive use by the Nashville Symphony. This is located at the intersection of Fourth Avenue South and Korean Veterans Boulevard. According to a report in Biz Journals, “The developer, Columbus, Ohio-based Pizzuti Companies, has agreed to reserve 180 dedicated parking spaces within the hotel’s garage for staff and musicians of the Nashville Symphony, which owns the land at 401 Fourth Avenue South.”
The Joseph Nashville Rendering courtesy of Pizzuti.
“Upon completion of the JW Marriott Nashville and planned construction of The Joseph and the W hotels, the number of luxury rooms in Music City as tracked by lodging industry researcher STR will double to 2,344,” stated a November 2017 article in Knox News.
AC by Marriott Nashville is a hotel project with a combined 455 rooms and will be located in Nashville’s SoBro neighborhood, across from the new 2.1 million square foot Music City Center. Set to open in September 2018, the full-service hotel will feature 209 guest rooms, including a top-floor presidential suite. The 21st floor meeting space overlooks Nashville’s skyline and can accommodate 250 guests.
Element Nashville West End will serve as a vibrant hub of activity including ground floor retail to appeal to hotel guests and the community. It is anticipated that an innovative restaurant will anchor the first floor facing the Community Table, oneC1TY’s central dining experience.
Element Nashville West End is just minutes from Vanderbilt University, Vanderbilt University Medical Center, Centennial Park, HCA, the Country Music Hall of Fame, and the nightclubs and entertainment venues downtown and on Music Row.
Element Nashville West End Rendering courtesy of OneCity.
151 1st Avenue mixed-use Nashville Downtown will have a 232-room hotel, which will be ready by the fourth quarter of 2021. The project, currently in the planning process, is going to be part of a mixed-use development in downtown Nashville. The Congress Group and AECOM Capital Real Estate have joined forces to transform this mixed-use development in the SoBro area. It is speculated that, when finished, this will be the second-tallest tower in the city.
Some of the other developments set to open in the first quarter of 2019 include the 12-story 233-room Home2 Suites by Hilton Nashville. Hyatt House Nashville, a extended stay hotel is also expected to open at the same time. The 201-room property’s main level will include the brand’s signature H Bar, which features an outdoor area with a fire pit and seating areas.
Driven by a legendary music scene, Nashville has become one of the fastest growing and most frequently visited cities in the country.
Curio by Hilton 710 Demonbreun Nashville is a dual-branded project with Embassy Suites 710 Demonbreun Nashville. Plans call for a 25-story Embassy Suites hotel tower with a rooftop and a 16-story Curio—A Collection by Hilton hotel tower. The Curio hotel tower will have a first-floor restaurant and bar for guests and the public, among other amenities.
The Fairlane Hotel, a luxe 81-room boutique hotel, is opening this March. The hotel has started accepting reservations. The developer BNA Associates describes the hotel as “bringing back the style and personality of the 1960s. A vibrant social scene, the buzzing lobby becomes the hub for power lunches and after work drinks, anchored by the first outpost of popular NYC-based Mile End delicatessen, and a lobby bar, along with Union Teller Coffee Counter.”
Although the majority of reports state that Nashville tops the hotel construction pipeline for Tennessee, the state’s other cities also show a good inflow of high-end projects.
Rendering courtesy of Hilton Garden Inn Memphis downtown.
The 140-room Hilton Garden Inn Memphis downtown, located at 201 Union Avenue on 1.68 vacant acres, will have Hilton’s latest lobby design with a variety of seating and lighting options. Additional amenities will include an indoor saltwater swimming pool, over 1,000 square feet of meeting space, a 24- hour business center, and a fitness center. The hotel, projected to open in the fourth quarter of 2018, will also offer a premier restaurant and bar with an outdoor patio.
Rendering courtesy of Hilton Garden Inn Memphis downtown.
Being developed by Vision Hospitality Group, this project marks the award-winning hospitality management company’s entrance into the Memphis market.
“This is an exciting time for Vision Hospitality Group as we enter the city of Memphis and continue to expand to growing markets,” said President & CEO Mitch Patel.
In a November article by Knox News, Greg Adkins, president and CEO of the Tennessee Hospitality & Tourism Association said, “They [travelers] want all the luxury, even in a limited-service property that has some fullservice amenities.”
According to an October 2017 report in High Ground News there are speculations of the redevelopment of the Tenoke Building and 191 Jefferson into a boutique hotel with 155 rooms, banquet facilities, and a pool. “The newest project for Vibrant, which operates under the JVD umbrella, is a full-service Aloft boutique hotel that will go into the 12-story Tenoke Building at 161 Jefferson Avenue at the corner of B.B. King Boulevard.” It states that it is being revived by the Mississippibased JVD Enterprises and Vibrant Hotels.
Courtyard by Marriott Knoxville/Residence Inn Rendering courtesy of Batson - Cook Development Company.
Courtyard by Marriott Knoxville/Residence Inn is scheduled to open in the third quarter of 2018. This is being developed by Atlantabased Paramount Hospitality Management. It will have a 144-room Courtyard by Marriott and an 88-room Residence Inn. The $43-million development will offer modern interiors, a rooftop lounge with views overlooking downtown Knoxville, and a bar and café in the lobby. With a total of 166,544 square feet and a three-level parking deck, the site is located close to Market Square, the culinary and cultural center of Knoxville, and the University of Tennessee. The site is the former home to a Knoxville News Sentinel building. The newspaper moved to its present location in Mechanicsville in 2002, according to Knoxville News Sentinel.
One of the most iconic buildings of Knoxville, the Andrew Johnson Building, will soon see a makeover. The officials in the Knox County Procurement office issued an “intent to award” to BNA Associates for the sale and redevelopment of the Andrew Johnson Building, according to an October 2017 report in Knox News.
The group, which is based in Nashville, proposed a $43 million investment that will bring a 94-room boutique hotel with apartment units and a rooftop bar. The proposal included an additional 75 residences.
The other historic building that will be transformed is The William F. Conley Building in Downtown Knoxville, which will be turned into a mixed-use hotel on Gay Street. The 13-story condo and office building will be transformed into an Embassy Suites, bringing a major hotel chain feet from Market Square and Regal Cinemas Riviera 8, according to an October report by Seymour Herald. The report quotes Oliver Smith, president of Oliver Smith Realty and Auction Company, who said that the level of national interest in South Knoxville and the city at large has never been as high as it is now. “Never in my lifetime have I seen an area go from kind of a slow pace to a rocket in such a short period of time.”
The Edwin Rendering courtesy of Vision Hospitality Group.
The Edwin is an upscale five-story boutique hotel downtown at the south end of Walnut Street Bridge. The hotel will be Chattanooga’s first luxury boutique hotel. The 90-room property is being developed by Vision Hospitality Group. In an interview with hT last year, CEO and President Mitch Patel said, “We probably bought the best location. It may be the best site in a 100-mile radius, adjacent to our historic, most iconic element in Chattanooga: the Walnut Street bridge. It’s the longest pedestrian bridge in the country, an old railroad bridge. When we have festivals there are tons of people walking across the bridge to our eclectic arts district.”
The bridge connects two parts of the city. The hotel is named, appropriately, for the bridge’s chief engineer Edwin Thatcher, who designed it in 1880.
The other awaited project is the Moxy Chattanooga. The hotel is a boutique hotel with the social heart of a hostel, states the developer 3H Group on its homepage.
With these and many more brands expanding their business to Tennessee, there is a lot more to look out for.
(Logos, product and company names mentioned are the property of their respective owners.)
By Dhwani Pathak Dave