Luxury hotel flag confirmed for uptown Charlotte site

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The hotel flag for a prominent uptown site in Charlotte has been confirmed.

White Lodging will develop a 21-story, 381-room JW Marriott hotel at the corner of Stonewall and College streets, in partnership with Charlotte-based Crescent Communities, which is developing the 26-story Ally Charlotte Center office tower on the same block. White Lodging out of Merrillville, Indiana, says it expects to open the JW Marriott — Charlotte's first — in 2021, the same year Crescent will open Ally Charlotte Center.

Charlotte's JW Marriott, a luxury brand of Marriott International Inc. (NASDAQ: MAR), will feature "modern guest rooms" in addition to an "expansive" outdoor terrace on the fifth floor, which will include a swimming pool and bar with alfresco seating. The hotel will also include Spa by JW, JW Marriott’s full-service luxury spa concept; a "sizable" coworking executive lounge; and a bar with outdoor seating that will connect to the project's plaza and adjacent businesses.

JW Marriott Charlotte’s lobby lounge will include outdoor seating that allows for dining on Stonewall Street. White Lodging-developed restaurant concepts, which have yet to be confirmed, will be part of the hotel as well.

The hotel will have 22,000 square feet of meeting and event space — the outdoor terrace, a grand ballroom that measures more than 5,100 square feet, a 2,400-square-foot junior ballroom and nearly 7,000 square feet of additional breakout space.

Deno Yiankes, president and CEO of investments and developments at White Lodging, said in a statement that the JW Marriott Charlotte will provide a "modern luxury lodging option" adjacent to sports and cultural events as well as conventions.

“The burgeoning Stonewall corridor of Charlotte is experiencing tremendous modernization and growth, and further defining itself as an economic and entertainment hub in the Queen City,” Yiankes said.

Yiankes was not available Wednesday morning to discuss the project further.

Crescent Communities is underway on Ally Charlotte Center, a 742,000-square-foot office building that Ally Financial is anchoring with about 400,000 square feet. The project also includes 30,000 square feet of retail that Charlotte-based Asana Partners is heading up and a 20,000-square-foot pedestrian plaza.

Brian Leary, president of commercial and mixed use for Crescent, said the companies were "laser-focused" on getting a higher-end hotel brand for the site.

"We felt there was a gap in the market at that end of town," he continued. "We see the complementary nature of a hotel use to an office use (as being) more and more valuable."

Leary said there were no updates at Ally Charlotte Center, including any new lease deals, adding the office and retail components have seen "tremendous interest." The site work Crescent is doing on the block today is laying the foundation for the hotel, and Leary said he expects White Lodging to go vertical on JW Marriott Charlotte by early next year.

Leary said Crescent's commercial and mixed-use division is looking to do more projects in Charlotte, especially in places with a "thriving pedestrian environment," but declined to comment further.

"We love our hometown and we love what is going on here," he said. "I think there's tremendous opportunity here."

There are currently more than 80 JW Marriott hotels globally. White Lodging is a hospitality owner, developer and manager, and operates JW Marriott hotels in Austin, Texas, and Indianapolis. The JW Marriott Charlotte appears to be White Lodging's first hotel in North Carolina.

The JW Marriott Charlotte is the latest in a number of hotels planned or under construction in center city right now. Farther east along Stonewall, a 176-room Even Hotel and a 180-room Home2 Suites by Hilton are being built at the corner of Stonewall and Caldwell streets. At Trade and Church streets, a 254-room Grand Bohemian Hotel is under construction. In the planning stages are a 270-room InterContinental Hotel at the Carolina Theatre site on North Tryon Street, a 213-room Homewood Suites by Hilton at North College and East Eighth streets, and a Moxy Hotel with up to 180 rooms at South Brevard and East Fourth streets.

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