Thursday, July 02, 2009

Update on the Roberts Brothers' Hotel Indigo Plans

Tim Bryant's article in the Post-Dispatch on the grand opening of the Roberts Brothers' new Hotel Indigo in the Central West End included an update on the second Hotel Indigo they're planning for the old St. Louis Design Center building on Olive.

According to the article, the projected opening of late 2010 has been pushed back at least a year, and the demolition of two historic buildings (919 and 923 Locust) is on hold as the Roberts Brothers work to get the Design Center building and an adjacent building placed on the national historic register.

One quote from the article that I found particularly interesting:

Gary Andreas, principal at H&H Consulting Inc., a Chesterfield-based hotel consulting group, said the Indigo on Lindell should do well because the Central West End is a good hotel market. But he said downtown is no place to put another hotel now.

"The big question is whether you need another hotel room anywhere downtown, period, for the next few years," he said.
So, we're stuck with a half a block of vacant buildings, two of which will eventually be torn down for a hotel that downtown doesn't need.

My preference would be to see the Roberts Brothers ditch the hotel plans and get all of the buildings placed on the national register. They could renovate the small building at 923 Locust as a restaurant/pub first, then move on to the other buildings, which could be converted to office space, apartments, condos, or even a smaller hotel, based on the conditions of the market.

Doing so would preserve historic architecture, keep the street wall intact, and bring more diversity to the 900 block of Locust.


Alex Ihnen said...

You're 100% right on this one. Of course their hotel design was questionable as well with the drive-thru entrance, etc., but I really like the idea of saving the smaller buildings. They're quirky, but IMO add a lot to downtown. I know in Boston the most enjoyable buildings are those that don't jump out at you but rather the ones that a bit hidden or that one has to "find".

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Anonymous said...

I completely agree with Alex. I live on that corner and a nice pub/restaurant would be much better than a hotel. The building looks pretty run down from the outside but it still as a charm and uniqueness about it that makes it stand out.

samizdat said...

There is actually a very nice 150 (or so) yr old building hidden under that bizzare fake half-timbering. Note the iron columns.

getrealstl said...

Are you all serious? Living in the area must change one's view. That building is a blight on a corner that will otherwise be completely redeveloped. Surely it cannot cost-effectively be saved and really does not fit in with the character of the new downtown. I HAVE BEEN PRAYING FOR THAT BUILDING TO BE TORN DOWN FOR YEARS!!!! THANKS ROBTS. BROS.

Brian said...

That building is small enough that it could be easily renovated and turned into an asset for the neighborhood - much better than a driveway.