A six-story hotel planned as part of a new development in downtown Macon will bear the Hyatt Place flag.
The 84,151-square-foot hotel is part of a proposed $50 million mixed-use downtown development — the largest in decades — called the Exchange Block Project, planned for Poplar Street. Hyatt Place is a brand of Chicago-based Hyatt Hotels Corp.
“We are just excited a full-service hotel will be in downtown again,” said Mechel McKinley, a public relations consultant representing developers Miller Heath III, CEO of MMI Capital LLC, and Tim Thornton, president of Thornton Realty Co, who formed a joint venture for the project.
The 140-room Hyatt Place hotel, which will be built at 630-678 Poplar St., is expected to have an adjacent parking garage with 350 parking spaces. It would serve the hotel and the entire new development, said McKinley, a former director of MainStreet Macon.
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The hotel will highlight Macon’s music heritage.
“The facade incorporates a design inspired by notes on a musical staff; interior design cues include vintage musical instruments; and a courtyard at the west end of the gallery walk is an intimate setting for performances, according to a report by Alpharetta-based architects Wakefield Beasley & Associates.
The project would be built in the block bounded by Poplar, Second, Plum and First streets, except for the corner lot at Plum and First. Other than the hotel, it would include apartments with 120 to 140 units, retail shops and at least one restaurant.
Forty to 50 people are expected to work at the hotel, and the construction of it would create about 300 jobs, she said.
Work on the hotel is expected to begin in August and would take about 14 months, “if all goes well,” she said. “So we’re looking at the fall of ‘18” for it to be completed.
Amenities at the hotel would include a workout facility, rooftop terrace, bar, kitchen, meeting space, lounge area and ground floor outdoor seating.
An alley would be included between the hotel and the garage to serve as access and potential gallery space for artists, according to a staff report filed with a conditional-use application with the Macon-Bibb County Planning & Zoning Commission. The item is on Monday’s agenda along with a certificate of appropriateness for the project.
“Staff does not anticipate any adverse effect to the comprehensive land development plan from the proposed use,” the staff report said. The report does state that the height of the hotel “is far taller” than any building adjacent to it.
The Exchange Block Project is expected to provide a link between other businesses and lofts in the downtown core and the city’s planned Mid City Square as part of the Second Street corridor development by the city, Thornton and Heath said in 2015. Most of the project would be new construction, but it will include existing buildings such as the Thornton building on Poplar Street and the Newman building on the corner of Poplar and First streets.
While Heath and Thornton will oversee the development, they have arranged different developers for the various components of the project.
The hotel is expected to be the first portion of the development to be built, McKinley said.
“We feel this will be a good fit for downtown,” she said.