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Boutique, independent, and lifestyle brand hotels have gained significant popularity and market share since the recession. Nashville will see a large number of these unique properties opening in the next 6 – 18 months.  Four of these new properties will be located on a one block space.  In this third installment of market updates, we will explore the new hotel properties of 4th Avenue North or “Boutique Row” as it has become known.

Market Update: The Nashville Hotel Market – Part Three

To local Nashvillians and visitors alike, Nashville appears to be a sea of cranes. According to the Nashville Business Journal’s “Crane Watch”, there are 203 proposed or projects  in Nashville with 47 cranes proposed for hotel projects. There are currently 28 cranes currently work in Nashville on a variety of products.  The fact that so many cranes in the Nashville development pool are dedicated to hotel projects would make anyone take notice.

The question becomes who are these hotels and who is behind them? In this, and future, articles we will explore various sections of hotel growth, who is behind the projects, and what these bring to the ever changing landscape.

The Core – What is Happening on 4th Avenue North?

On one city block of 4th Avenue between Church St. and Union Avenue in Nashville, there are four hotels or 618 guestrooms under construction. For perspective, according to the STR, Inc Pipeline Report, there are currently 4,115 hotel rooms currently under construction with another 2,899 in the Final Planning stage. Though this block only represents 1.5% of the overall rooms under construction, it is the concentration of rooms not located by a convention center that makes this interesting. While these properties are in close proximity they will each offer unique architectural and interior look and feel as well as offerings to guests. Also of note is that the focus of each property is really centered on the transient guest. Each has limited meeting or event space though that is not the primary focus to drive revenue. This appears to be an evolving trend, which has a heavy focus on destination dining and a “hangout” or “lounge” space for guests.

The Noelle Hotel – A Tribute by Starwood Hotel (200 4th Avenue North)

Moving South to North, the first hotel is the Noelle Hotel. The Noelle is located on the North East corner of 4th Avenue and Church St in a building that was formerly the Noel Place. Built in the in early 20th century as a hotel, it was converted to office space in the 1980’s. This historic property is owned by Rockbridge out of Columbus, OH and is undergoing extensive renovation and expansion with focuses on the historic character of the building, particularly the lobby. The Highlights include:

  • 224 Guestrooms
  • One 80 seat restaurant offering Breakfast, Lunch, and Dinner
  • Cocktail Lounge in the historic lobby
  • A rooftop/terrace bar overlooking the Cumberland River
  • An “underground” bar with a speakeasy feel
  • A coffee shop
  • A locally curated retail shop
  • 2,600 Square Feet of meeting space

Dream Nashville (210 4th Avenue North)

Moving north and directly to the left of the Noelle is the new Dream Hotel. Located mid-block, on the old Embers location and utilizing the historic Utopia Hotel, the property is designed to honor the history of the area. The project is owned by a local investment group and developed by Alex Marks of Royal Investments and Bill Barkley of City Development. Nashville marks the fifth Dream Hotel to open in the U.S. and the seventh worldwide, with six more locations currently under development. The Dream brand is known for delivering the maximum and highest level experience to guests. Each property has upscale amenities, obsessive-meets-compulsive service, built-in nightlife that seems to come naturally and rare raw energy drawn from some of the most stimulating cities in the world. Nashville is on track to open in late 2018. Highlights include:

  • 169 upscale guestrooms within the new 10-story building and the renovated Utopia hotel
  • 6 food and beverage venues on 4th Avenue North and Printers Alley
  • Strategic Hospitality is an owner and consulting on the hotel’s food and beverage program
  • Over 5,000 square feet of flexible meeting, event and private dining space

The Bobby Hotel (230 4th Avenue North)

Moving still North to the former Wells Fargo building will be The Bobby Hotel. Built as a bank in the mid 1960’s, this property will have an extensive expansion for rooms. Owned by Castle Rock Asset Management, who recently opened The Westin Hotel, The Bobby will operate as an independent hotel. Leaning on a cool, hip, rock and roll feel, The Bobby will also have access to Printers Alley through an alley-facing bar. Set to open in the first quarter of 2018, the highlights for this property include:

  • 144 Guestrooms
  • A dining room serving breakfast lunch and dinner
  • A rooftop bar and pool like no other
  • An alley-facing Bar
  • And 3,000 square feet of meeting space

The Fairlane Hotel (401 Union Street)

Finally, at the South West corner of 4th and Union sits the new Fairlane Hotel. Built in the mid-20th century as a savings and loan, this property is undergoing extensive renovations while generally staying within the existing exterior walls. Opening in September of 2017, the Fairlane will be a mid-century modern property with a focus on destination dining. Owned by BNA Associates, the Fairlane will be their third property. The highlights include:

  • 81 Guestrooms
  • A 4,000 square foot penthouse with an outdoor terrace
  • 135 seat restaurant on the 4th floor with terrace dining
  • A lobby café and New York style deli
  • And a handful of small conference rooms

On a final note, the new Boutique Row should see plenty of business in the coming years. Though the April STR report indicates a stabilization of occupancy in the Davidson County area, existing hotels have continued to push ADR in the first quarter of this year which is running approximately 3% up over last year.  Additionally, Nashville has been a town of relatively few boutique hotels and is growing to have a massive amount in a one-block area. Considering the continued growth and interest in boutique properties, all indications point to successful operations. This is not just good news for hotel owners.  Beneficiaries of these new properties will include: business travelers looking for unique environments, the continuing supply of leisure travelers visiting Nashville each weekend.  Additionally, this will open up some new restaurants North of Broadway, an area that certainly has room for more restaurants.   These new restaurants will be ideal for business meetings, brunch, lunch, dinner, and private dining.

Next up on the Market Update – Nashville: Select Service is not Limited on Development

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