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RiversideGator

Update on Carlington & Lerner Projects

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Good news: Today I went to the downtown Firehouse Subs on Adams for lunch and checked out the Carling. A lady who worked there actually let me walk around the lobby and it looks GREAT. They have the original moldings on the ceilings restored. The lobby is painted and carpeted and they have restored the grand staircases and chandaliers too. The whole lobby looked almost finished. I wasnt able to go upstairs, but this could be ready for occupancy soon. My only regret is that I wish it could be used for a hotel since this is the only remaining historic downtown hotel. But, at least it is saved for the future and will add residents.

As to the Lerner Bldg across the street, I saw two workers in it and asked them the status. They told me that work would resume on the bldg on Monday. I didnt get a reason as for the delays thus far, but this is certainly good news.

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Great news Riversidegator! I can't wait to see the interior of the Carling. I haven't been inside since last tear, when the interior was still in shambles. They were going to great effort to preserve the historic tiles on the mezzanine. I hope that worked out. (In all fairness it's not the only historic hotel left. There's still the Ambassador, for what that's worth)

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Captain: Dont get me wrong, I am very happy it is being restored and reused. I just wish we had one historic hotel downtown still.

I forgot about the Ambassador. But, that doesnt compare with the old Carling or George Washington, for example, in terms of grandeur. The Ambassador was used for apts before too, I believe. Unfortunately, I think the owners are dead set on using it as offices now with the courthouses being nearby (at some point). I also think this is a bad idea since there is an office space surplus downtown now. But, nobody asked me. :)

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I forgot about the Ambassador.  But, that doesnt compare with the old Carling or George Washington, for example, in terms of grandeur.  The Ambassador was used for apts before too, I believe.  Unfortunately, I think the owners are dead set on using it as offices now with the courthouses being nearby (at some point).  I also think this is a bad idea since there is an office space surplus downtown now.  But, nobody asked me.  :)

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

The last that I heard, the Ambassodor was still residential. The same developers do plan to build a new office building next to the Ambassodor. Contingent on Courthouse construction, of course.

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Not too sure about the info on the the Lerner, for the last couple of weeks there have been workers removing equipment and things of the like.

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Good news to hear. Although its not as impressive, the old 3 story Richmond Hotel, on Broad Street, is more historically significant than the Ambassador and Carling Hotels. I too would like to see at least one historic boutique hotel operating in downtown, because they add a lot of character to urban areas. I guess the only chance at seeing one in downtown now would be the old Exchange Bldg or Barnett Bank Tower on Adams Street. Hopefully, we can get one, before its too late.

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Looks like The Carling is even farther along than I thought:

Carling opens Friday

The Vestcor Companies has spent the past 15 months converting the old hotel into 100 residential apartments.

Workers moved furniture into The Carling on Wednesday afternoon.

by J. Brooks Terry

Staff Writer

Downtown

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Three comments:

1) Finally! Can't wait to see it.

2) If you build them (affordable units) they will come.

3) Please, no more Palm trees. First 11 E, then Bay St. and now the Carling. Let's get some shade trees growing downtown. Look at the crowds at Hemming Plaza for heaven sakes.

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I am looking at the Lerner right now... no movement... and doesn;t seem as though it is going to be soon either.

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Yeah the Carling does look pretty good. I pass it on my way to work everyday. If they turn on the Carling sign tomorrow night, I'll be sure to post a pic. Is Lerner the project that is blocking the left side of the street across from the Carling?

-J

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Just in reply to the historic hotel postings.... is there a demand for hotels downtown? I'd love to see a boutique hotel in downtown, like The Hermitage in Nashville. Would anyone happen to know the occupancy percentage for the downtown hotels, or just how they are doing in general? I've been curious as to how the Hyatt is doing..and when they will get a real sign.

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There must be some type of demand. San Marco Riverwalk and the Shipyards both have hotels planned in their development. Several chains, including Westin, Sheraton and Marriott also have interest about locating in downtown. I think a hotel in a historic building would fill a niche in the local hospitality market. However, we're starting to run out of older buildings large enough to work as a hotel. The only ones I can think of remaining are The Barnett and the Exchange Buildings on Adams Street.

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I agree Lake. If there are hotel chains showing interest then there must be some sort of demand DT. The airport traffic is growing steadily largely in part to corporate travel. Look at the number of rooms in the JTB/Southside area. There is quite a bit more due to all of the corporate headquarters and satellite offices that supply a large amount of out-of-towners. The DT is growing in residents as well as buisness; the travelers will come and the hotels will be there to board them.

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I particularly like hotels downtown because I think hotel guests tend to be more active and spend more money downtown than even residents, especially if they are tourists. This creates demand for additional retail and restaurants. Hopefully we will see a new hotel announced soon and some beautification of the Hyatt.

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Ugh. This is not the tropics!

Lately it's been feeling like I'm in Manila with night temperatures hovering around 80 degrees and the mosquitoes sticking to my face. A friend of mine is moving into The Carling from 11 E., so I'm eager to check this place out.

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Carling grand opening

There are pictures that go with the article at www.DowntownThisweek.com

The most amazing thing in the article is that one-third of the units have been leased, ALL of which were leased sight unseen. The prices are a LITTLE more reasonable than 11E. due to the lesser views. This projects shows that the market for affordable downtown living is there.

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I just came back from the grand opening of The Carling. The atrium there is absolutely amazing. We were allowed to view all of the apartments on the 8th floor. The hardwood floors are a nice touch, but I wasn't too crazy about the carpet in the bedrooms. If you have time, you should stop by.

-J

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I personally like the palm trees in front of the Carling. Face it, we may not be in the tropics but we live in FLORIDA, on the coast, with numerous beaches...sorry but were always gonna be associated with palm trees. But we definately could have done without those LIMP palms on bay street!!

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