cityboi

The Triad's first Aloft Hotel to open in downtown Greensboro

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The news just keeps getting better and better for Greensboro. Roy Carroll plans an Aloft hotel on the site planned for project 561 across from the ballpark. Project 561 is a proposed tower project that would include a hotel and office space. It would be the tallest building in North Carolina outside of Charlotte. The site is located on the opposite corner of another project Roy Carroll is developing, Carroll at Bellemeade currently under construction and will include 300 luxury apartments and a Hyatt Place Hotel. Can't read much from the article because it's subscription but you can clearly see thumbnail photos of Roy Carroll and the project 561 site. The photo caption also says "Developer Roy Carroll stands on the apparent site of an Aloft Hotel" This news seems to coincide with news of Arch Capital Group relocating it's corporate headquarters to Greensboro. After the United Guaranty acquisition, Arch Capital Group will become the largest mortgage insurance company in the United States and Roy Carroll may have his corporate giant to anchor his 561 tower.

http://www.bizjournals.com/triad/news/2016/12/23/triadto-get-its-first-aloft-hotel.html

Edited by cityboi
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Alofts parent company lists the hotel will open in 2020. Aloft already has hotels in Charlotte, Raleigh, Durham and Asheville.

Other hotels are in the works for downtown Greensboro as well. Again, a Hyatt Place Hotel is under construction across from the ballpark. A 7-story Hampton Inn and Suites hotel is planned for the south side of downtown. A 12-story luxury Wyndham hotel (The Wyndham Greensboro) will be built atop the Elm Street Center conference center and there is a hotel planned for the third phase of the Union Square project.

 

https://www.google.com/url?sa=t&source=web&rct=j&url=http://www.charlottestar.com/index.php/sid/250416579&ved=0ahUKEwi5g_eDnYvRAhWBTSYKHb-KDHcQFghfMAg&usg=AFQjCNGuydCieQaQ07NnqhgW2EXIU8PlVQ&sig2=9PeAYbNK5_Fxoac3KbCA9g

Edited by cityboi

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Normally that would be the case. But in this situation Starwood hotels, parent company of Aloft actually has the opening of an Aloft hotel on the Project 561 site in 2020 on its website. Its no longer just a developer's dream or proposal. The hotel opening also gives some credibility to Project 561 itself because the hotel is a component of project 561. The news about Arch Capital Group relocating its corporate headquarters to Greensboro makes it even more realistic because this is exactly what Roy Carroll is looking for, a major corporation from outside of the region relocating here. He apparently has made some headway with the project because he said he has some exciting news for downtown Greensboro in 2017 when asked about  project 561. Greensboro has gotten a bad wrap for grandiose ideas falling through (happens in every city btw). Roy Carroll is different. He has a track record for planning big projects for downtown and following through on them. First it was the Center Pointe condo tower then Carroll at Bellemeade. Now it appears that part of his Project 561 proposal is coming to fruition. He knows the market and knows what Greensboro can support. Roy Carroll is doing things downtown that many said would never happen or would happen years from now. Many cities would love to have a Roy Carroll. He reminds me of the late Joe Koury who was a prominent Greensboro developer who helped transform the city with grand ideas. He built a sprawling hotel resort off of I-85 called Grandover and without him, the city wouldn't have a convention center today.

Edited by cityboi

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Here is a map of the ballpark district showing current, under development and planned projects.

BALLPARK.jpg

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One cool feature about Aloft is the wxyz bar which also serves as an event space for djs, parties, up and coming music artists ect. It will be pretty cool to walk across the street after a baseball game, and go party at the wxyz bar or just relax with a few friends and enjoy some drinks. Many Alofts have wxyz bars that also have large patio balconies and more than likely the Aloft planned for Greensboro would have a wxyz bar on one of the upper levels overlooking the ballpark so you can enjoy your drinks while watching a game. I'm  hoping Roy Carroll goes with a more of an urban design for this Aloft as opposed to the typical 6 to 8 story suburban looking Alofts dressed up to look urban. We've seen enough of those cookie cutter designs across the state. I want to see a design that is unique but at the same time have those signature Aloft features with a sloped roof, exterior color light bars and the large monument Aloft letters on the ground near the main entrance. But I'm even more excited about the mixed-use component Roy Carroll may include with this Aloft and hopefully it will add to the height of the hotel. I really would like to see something between 10 and 12 stories. It appears that the project 561 will most likely be built next to the Center Pointe tower instead of being a part of the Aloft Site. But Roy Carroll did say the Aloft site would be a mixed use development.

Some wxyz bars 


https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=m7koOLAoDkc

https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=O-GI3bxTgMk

In terms of design this is what I would rather not see. It's a cookie cutter design that's really a dressed up suburban building and some cities are getting these in their downtowns. They would be more appropriate for airport locations 

alf3166ex.80950_xx.jpg


Review-Aloft-Hotel-1-5.jpg

These would be acceptable.

AloftANZAC.jpg

Aloft%20Hotel%20Property%20Exterior.jpg

2016-1212-wexford-aloft-hotel.jpg

Edited by cityboi

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What's the low rise developement? Number 3? 

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1 hour ago, kcw1988 said:

What's the low rise developement? Number 3? 

Its a low-rise office building

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After studying the foot print of the site, this Aloft Hotel could at least be 9 stories and can be as tall as 11 or 12 stories depending on the shape of the building foot print. I say this because the site is pretty compact and in addition a parking deck for the hotel  must fit on this property. The Hyatt Place going up across the street will have 110 guest rooms and will be 6 stories. The Aloft will have 150 rooms. Consider that the Aloft in Greenville, SC has less rooms and is north of 10 stories. The height of the Aloft really will be determined by how much space the parking deck takes up and depending on whether or not this is mixed use development containing residential. DGI president stated  "several residential towers" were being planned in the ballpark district and one of those high-rise apartment towers could stand next to an Aloft hotel which could potentially stand north of 10 stories with both towers overlooking the ballpark. I say this because everything Roy Carroll is doing downtown seems to be mixed-used and a stand alone Aloft hotel does not follow his downtown development patterns. Collectively all the development surrounding the ballpark will have a great impact with the Greenway at Fisher Park and the Greenway at Stadium Park apartments directly north of the ballpark, Carroll at Bellemeade luxury apartments retail and  Hyatt Place hotel to the east of the ballpark and an Aloft with a potential mixed use component directly  south of the ballpark. 

Edited by cityboi
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So would the ALoft hotel be on the same block as Project 561? Or are all these new towers supposed to be on different blocks?

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13 hours ago, drawscape said:

So would the ALoft hotel be on the same block as Project 561? Or are all these new towers supposed to be on different blocks?

Originally, there were two sites where Project 561 had been projected to go. One of those sites is the one where A-Loft will now be going. There was some initial excitement when the project was announced because A-Loft had been considered one of the contenders to be the hotel going on the bottom of Project 561 and with the site selection and the seemingly bizarre push to 2020 for completion (it doesn't take three or four years to build a mid-rise hotel) and maybe A-Loft was just the beginning of the announcement of Project 561. It now seems that isn't the case. I do wonder if maybe the Hampton Inn or the other remaining possible hotel may be in the running for the base of Project 561... though my belief is that Project 561 is a pipe dream that will never be built... at least not for a couple decades.

I do wonder if the A-Loft AND Project 561 could co-exist on the footprint that's already there. They would need to focus on building the A-Loft upwards (around 8-10 stories) versus their usual 4-6 story format. But if they can take up less space (or even focus on building long along street level), they could work to somewhat hide the parking garage that Project 561 sits on top of.

Edited by HRVT

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Posted (edited)

Big plans for the Aloft site across from the ballpark are slowly being revealed. In addition to the Westin there are two other high-rises in the works for downtown. According to the Rhino Times, Greensboro City Council voted in favor of building a 1,050 space 8 story parking deck on the Aloft site which developer Roy Carroll owns. The council agenda notes there are plans to build a 15 to 20 story mixed use building on top of the parking deck which would include a hotel  (Aloft). It will likely include residential. Sitting on top of a deck this could potentially be a 28 story tower. The building configuration is like the Westin which will also be built on top of a parking deck. In addition to the mixed use tower, there are plans for a 100,000 square foot office building adjacent to the parking deck. With that amount of square footage on a tight site, it likely will also be a high-rise, probably 10 to 15 stories. The mixed-use skyscraper will lease 450 spaces while the office tower will lease 350 spaces. The rest of the parking will provide spaces for ballpark patrons.This confirms rumors about residential towers near the ballpark however Triad City Beat said several residential towers and hotels so there are other residential towers in the works that haven't been revealed.

Rhino Times - 2017-05-04

 

The Aloft lot is outlined in yellow. It's a very small lot for so much development so this is going to be a tall project.

carrollaloft.jpg&key=aa91753b6edeaa94c86

Edited by cityboi

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1 hour ago, cityboi said:

Big plans for the Aloft site across from the ballpark are slowly being revealed. In addition to the Westin there are two other high-rises in the works for downtown. According to the Rhino Times, Greensboro City Council voted in favor of building a 1,050 space 8 story parking deck on the Aloft site which developer Roy Carroll owns. The council agenda notes there are plans to build a 15 to 20 story mixed use building on top of the parking deck which would include a hotel  (Aloft). It will likely include residential. Sitting on top of a deck this could potentially be a 28 story tower. The building configuration is like the Westin which will also be built on top of a parking deck. In addition to the mixed use tower, there are plans for a 100,000 square foot office building adjacent to the parking deck. With that amount of square footage on a tight site, it likely will also be a high-rise, probably 10 to 15 stories. The mixed-use skyscraper will lease 450 spaces while the office tower will lease 350 spaces. The rest of the parking will provide spaces for ballpark patrons.This confirms rumors about residential towers near the ballpark however Triad City Beat said several residential towers and hotels so there are other residential towers in the works that haven't been revealed.

Rhino Times - 2017-05-04

 

The Aloft lot is outlined in yellow. It's a very small lot for so much development so this is going to be a tall project.

carrollaloft.jpg&key=aa91753b6edeaa94c86

So do you think this project is just a scaled down version of project 561 or this is just a completely different project?

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Posted (edited)

6 hours ago, drawscape said:

So do you think this project is just a scaled down version of project 561 or this is just a completely different project?

Not sure if its scaled down. This project potentially has the same number of floors, 20 stories over an 8 story deck. Project 561 would have a spire pushing it to 561 feet. Actually this could possibly be Project 561 configured differently in terms of office space. Instead of just office space and a hotel it could include residential with an additional smaller office tower next to it. This would allow Carroll to get to a 561 height with less office space. I prefer this configuration over a single 28 story tower dominated with office space and a hotel.

So it could be the same but less office space. Or it could be a seperate development from Project 561. I find it interesting that this project and Project 561 both call for a tower sitting on an 8 story deck. Like the Westin deck, this deck would likely have street level retail and restaurants. If it is Project 561, its actually a larger project with the additional tower, just less office space and residential included. Im glad this won't be a typical cookie cutter Aloft hotel. It may have a few architectural cues indicating an Aloft is part of the tower but it will be unique to Greensboro and one of two Aloft hotels in the state that is in a tower. The other one is the Aloft in uptown Charlotte.  This is the $90 million development Carroll is referring to and Carroll said he has instructed his architects to give it a wow factor so I expect it won't look bland and hopefully it will include some interesting architectural elements currently not seen in Greensboro. 

Im just glad to see downtown projects going vertical. All of the projects combined will certainly impact Greensboro's skyline. The planned towers by the ballpark gives Greensboro an east-west axis skyline.

Edited by cityboi

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Posted (edited)

At first I was somewhat disappointed that Carroll at Bellemeade didn't have a retail and office component but that will be corrected with his unnamed mixed-use Aloft project on the south side of the ballpark. What Roy Carroll is doing around First National Bank Field is pretty Amazing. Collectively it's larger in scope and scale than ballpark development in the other large cities in NC with downtown ballparks with exception to Charlotte which have much larger towers and a large park around its ballpark.

 In addition there is development and street level activity beyond the perimeter developments of Greensboro's ballpark when you look at the greenway, Deep Roots grocery store, other apartments, breweries and restaurants which all form an urban ballpark district. This is the district that midtown will eventually bleed into. I'm hoping to find out more information about a rumored SkyHouse apartment tower for the ballpark district. If that happens I think you will start to see an explosion of new retail and more companies wanting  to relocate downtown. That leads to more mixed-use developments like what Roy Carroll is planning. It's the domino effect we are seeing in Charlotte and Raleigh today.

But the kind of hotel guests Aloft will attract  (millennials, and business guests) is a good thing for our downtown. Every Aloft has a wxyz bar which is a live music venue within the hotel that is open to the general public. Since Aloft will be in a skyscraper here, the wxyz bar will likely be a number of stories up with a bar balcony overlooking the ballpark. The hotel pool will likey be pretty high up overlooking the ballpark as well. Carroll is doing this the right way and understands real urban development. He could have easily built one of the cheaper low-rise /mid-rise suburban airport Alofts like the one pictured below with no mixed-use component. Instead he decided to go big and bold.

Aloft-Rendering-403x195_092815.jpg

In terms of future development near the ballpark , I would like to see a SkyHouse but I would like to see the parking lot diagonally across from the ballpark and across the street from Hyatt Place and Aloft transformed into a ballpark themed entertainment village complete with restaurants, and ACC Café restaurant, sports bar, comedy club and an urban bowling alley with a billiards hall.

Edited by cityboi

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I would LOVE to see a real comedy club in Greensboro. It's one of the things this area is truly missing. One of the things I miss about Virginia Beach was being able to go to Funny Bone and see big name acts. Now, I have to drive to Charlotte for that.

As for the A-Loft, the more I hear, the more I think that it is indeed Project 561, albeit perhaps scaled down. That said, even if it's scaled down to Project 461 for instance, it'll still have a profound impact on Greensboro's skyline (and will still be the tallest building in Triad). Skyhouse could also be a gigantic shot in the arm for downtown, which is already adding residents hand over fist.

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Posted (edited)

10 hours ago, HRVT said:

I would LOVE to see a real comedy club in Greensboro. It's one of the things this area is truly missing. One of the things I miss about Virginia Beach was being able to go to Funny Bone and see big name acts. Now, I have to drive to Charlotte for that.

As for the A-Loft, the more I hear, the more I think that it is indeed Project 561, albeit perhaps scaled down. That said, even if it's scaled down to Project 461 for instance, it'll still have a profound impact on Greensboro's skyline (and will still be the tallest building in Triad). Skyhouse could also be a gigantic shot in the arm for downtown, which is already adding residents hand over fist.

It took 2 and a half years to build a similar sized skyscraper in Charlotte. So based on that I would say construction on this mixed use Aloft tower would begin around the end of this year for a spring 2020 opening as indicated on Starwood Hotels website. This explains why the Aloft opening is 3 years out. As far as the adjacent 100, 000 foot office building, dont know if it will be built at the same time or a different phase. 

Construction on the Westin is suppose to begin early next year so we may be seeing two or three tower cranes downtown a year from now.

Downtown Greensboro Inc, president had made a comment earlier this year that downtown may see as many three cranes by the end of the year or early next year. The tower projects I mentioned adds up to three. These will be the first new construction downtown highrises since 1990. That was 27 years ago when downtown went through its last tower boom. Three office towers were built at the same time along with two parking decks. Greensboro's skyline was littered with cranes back then. Its been long overdue. 

Edited by cityboi

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Posted (edited)

updated ballpark development

ballparkprojects3.jpg

Edited by cityboi
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Posted (edited)

Roy Carroll expects to make a "major announcement" on his plans for the Aloft site sometime this summer.  Carroll said he wanted to speed up plans for the parking deck on the Aloft site to help the ballpark office tower project move forward across the street. Like the planned city owned Westin Hotel deck, the street level will be lined with retail/restaurants. Carroll also has the option of adding his own private parking on additional levels which could push the height of the deck portion of the project north of 8 stories. If it winds up being a 10 story deck and he adds a 20 story tower on top as indicated by city documents, we are looking at a 30 story structure. Whether it will be project 561 or not, it would be Greensboro's new tallest building. Im kinda hoping this is an apartment/hotel tower project and not project 561 because that would mean downtown will have two towers north of 30 stories when he finally builds Project 561. In that scenario Project 561 would be built next to his Center Pointe tower if the Aloft project is not that development. The property ownership in this and the Westin hotel project is unique to Greensboro. Roy Carroll would own the Aloft property while the city would own the deck on his property. Carroll would own the airspace or whats built above the deck

http://www.bizjournals.com/triad/news/2017/06/01/how-and-why-roy-carroll-and-the-city-of-greensboro.html

"Carroll said he was likely to build on top of and around the parking deck. According to a Starwood Properties website, a 150-room Aloft Hotel is planned to open on the site in 2020. Carroll refused to confirm plans for the hotel, but said he expected to make a "major announcement" on future downtown plans sometime this summer.
Carroll will be responsible for engineering and architecture work and building of an 8 story 1,050-seat parking deck, which will be paid for and owned by the city. Carroll has the option to build his own private parking — at his cost — on additional levels. City Finance Director Rick Lusk said the arrangement is similar to the city's April partnership with a group led by Randall Kaplan for an 850-space parking deck to serve a planned Westin hotel on South Elm Street."

Edited by cityboi
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Posted (edited)

This is pretty cool. Many of the Aloft hotels have robots that deliver items to your room. Hopefully Aloft Greensboro will have one.

 

Edited by cityboi
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