$33 million hotel planned near Chattanooga Convention Center

Feb. 10—A developer has plans to add to the number of hotel rooms near the Chattanooga Convention Center with a seven-story structure holding both the Home2 Suites and Tru by Hilton brands.

The $33 million, 180-room hotel would go up at 1201 Carter St., directly across from the Convention Center, said Sam Patel of Emerge Hospitality Group in an interview on Thursday.

He said that more hotel rooms will help drive a larger convention business in the city.

Justin Dumsday of River Street Architecture said the dual branding is a newer concept in the industry. It permits two brands to share one lobby, he said in an interview.

Dumsday said the planned hotel will hold 100 Home2 Suites by Hilton rooms and another 80 Tru by Hilton units. The existing vacant tract also will hold a two-level parking garage, he said.

Emerge is seeking a variance from the city to add a seventh-floor rooftop bar, but on Thursday asked for and received a deferral for 30 days.

The Cleveland, Tennessee, developer’s application for the variance stated that the hotel is trying to engage community activity, bring visitors in and provide amenities with the rooftop bar.

“The request is to allow activity at the roof level for views of the city instead of at the second floor, which would be level with the Highway 27 traffic and noise,” the application said, citing the nearby major road.

Patel said that if his group receives approval, plans are to start work sometime this year. Construction is expected to take 18 to 24 months, he said.

The developer said the group has owned the property since 2017.

“We planned to build another hotel,” he said, but the coronavirus pandemic imposed a roadblock for that proposal.

At least two other sites within close proximity to the Convention Center could hold new hotels.

Chattanooga-based hotel operator Vision Hospitality Group last December bought a key corner in downtown’s Southside at Broad and Main Streets where CBR Auto Care operated for many years.

Andrew Hibbard, the company’s senior vice president of finance and investments, said by phone at the time that officials were weighing their options for the high-profile parcel.

“We’re figuring it out,” Hibbard said. “A hotel is an eventual possibility. But at the same time it will be driven by the market.”

Also, at Cowart and 13th streets, another hotel is planned. The site near The Chattanoogan hotel already has been cleared.

A six-story, 123-unit La Quinta Hotel was slated for the tract, but a developer said last year that a different brand is expected to be constructed there.

Contact Mike Pare at mpare@timesfreepress.com or 423-757-6318. Follow him on Twitter @MikePareTFP.

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