Here's the first look inside the Omni Louisville Hotel (PHOTOS)

Updated

The 30-story Omni Louisville Hotel has reached 18 stories, and construction is moving at such a rollicking pace that a new floor is now being added every six days.

If that pace is maintained, the final 12 floors of the Omni could be built out in fewer than three months, and officials have said it may top out by the middle of the year.

That was one nugget of information about the project shared Thursday morning during the first hard-hat tour inside the hulking Omni, which now dominates the site bordered by Second, Third and Liberty streets and Muhammad Ali Boulevard.

The 1.2 million-square-foot Omni Louisville, with an estimated cost of about $320 million, will have 612 hotel rooms and 225 luxury apartments. The complex will have two pools — one on the third floor for the hotel and another o the 15th floor for apartment residents — and a grand ballroom.

Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer, local media and other elected and city officials took the tour across parts of the first four floors of the Omni, including a full walk-through of the first floor — where many of the restaurant and bar amenities will be located — and the fourth floor, which gives the public its first glimpse at a typical hotel floor.

About 300 workers are now on site each day, including concrete, electrical, mechanical, plumbing, HVAC, drywall framing and hanging, insulation and glass workers and masons.

Interior finishes are now being completed on guest rooms from the fourth to the eighth floors, and pre-cast concrete panels covers much of the structure’s exterior.

Eamon O’Brien, director of sales and marketing for the Omni, said he expects to hit 60,000 pre-booked room nights for the Omni by the end of March. The majority of room nights are booked from 2018 to 2021, he said, and the farthest convention booked for the hotel is in 2024.

During the tour, O’Brien said Omni officials already are hiring for permanent positions and that many of those jobs will be filled later this year. Hotel officials plan to hold a major job fair toward the end of 2017.

He said sales and leasing positions will be filled first for both the hotel and the apartments. Floors four through 15 will be set aside for the hotel rooms, and floors 16 through 30 will house the apartments.

Those positions will be followed by a search for chefs and other service-related positions for many of the hotel amenities.

Those amenities will include a speakeasy with bowling lanes, multiple restaurants, a library-themed bar, the urban Falls City Market, a coffee shop and wine store, a bourbon store and a Heine Brothers Coffee location.

The restaurants include a three-meal concept offering new Louisville-inspired American cuisine; Bob’s Steak & Chophouse, an upscale dinner-only steakhouse; and Iron Quarter, which will serve pizza and craft beer.

Inside, the Omni now is decked out in concrete and steel, and the rooms and amenities are in such early stages that you can only visualize the final product.

But when it opens, O’Brien said, the Omni will be decked out in cast-iron and bourbon barrel accents as a nod to Louisville, and he reiterated that Falls City Market will have fresh food products, much of which will be Kentucky Proud products. The store also will have kiosks within offering high-end products and possibly a food truck-style hot food concept.

O’Brien said most of the first-floor amenities will have access from the street.

Renderings and rental rates for the apartments are expected to be released later this year.

During a news conference before the tour, Karen Williams, president and CEO of the Louisville Convention & Visitors Bureau, said the last game-changing hotel that opened downtown was the Louisville Marriott Downtown in 2005, which sent occupancy rates and average nightly rental rates soaring. She expects an even bigger splash from the Omni.

Fischer said Dallas-based Omni Hotels & Resorts has assured him that the Omni will be unlike anything Louisville has ever seen and will create a wow factor for first-time visitors.

O’Brien said the goal is to create a first-class hotel and amenity center that attracts local and out-of-town visitors.

“This is a hotel for the entire community,” he said.

The Omni is scheduled to open by spring 2018. To see inside, check out photographer William DeShazer’s slideshow above.

Marty Finley covers economic development, commercial and residential real estate, government and sports business.


Construction underway on multimillion-dollar hotel

Work has started on a dual hotel near EP “Tom” Sawyer Park.

Local developer Steve Poe is building a combination Townplace Suites and Fairfield Inn & Suites hotel on 26.7 acres at 10241 Champions Park Drive. The project will cost an estimated $23 million.

The 82,000-square-foot dual-branded hotel will have 157 rooms total and traditional amenities such as an indoor pool, a dining area and a fitness center. It will open sometime next year.

The development will sit near the Springhurst Towne Center, another retail center and two other hotels.

This is only the latest hotel project from Poe, who developed the Aloft Hotel downtown and is working on another dual-branded hotel as well as a Homewood Suites downtown. —Caitlin Bowling


Work on $23M dual-brand hotel set to kick off in the East End

Mar 29, 2017, 11:32am EDT

A four-story, 157-room hotel planned on about 27 acres of vacant land in Louisville’s East End is set to begin construction.

Louisville-based Poe Cos. received building permits from Louisville Metro Government earlier this week to construct a dual-branded hotel that will carry the TownePlace Suites and the Fairfield Inn & Suites flags, as we reported in November.

The site, at 10241 Champion Farms Drive near SpringHurst Towne Center, is owned by Poe Cos. and is behind two other hotels, the Residence Inn Louisville Northeast and a Courtyard Louisville Northeast.

Valentin Staller, a project manager for Poe Cos., said in an e-mail that the hotels should be completed within a year and that the developments costs are about $23 million. The hotel will encompass more than 83,000 square feet and will be almost evenly split between the two brands. Both hotel flags are part of multinational hotel company Marriott International (NYSE: MAR).

TownePlace Suites stands out for having full kitchens in its guest rooms, while Fairfield Inn & Suites is billed as a business-friendly hotel that offers a full business center and flexible work spaces in its guest rooms and lobby.

According to a development plan filed late last year, the TownePlace Suites will have a mix of studio-sized rooms, double-queen rooms and one-bedroom suites. The Fairfield Inn & Suites will have king and double-queen rooms and several suites.

On-site amenities outlined in the documents include a lounge, dining and breakfast area, fitness room, market, laundry facilities, break room and indoor pool.

Poe Cos. is building the dual-branded hotel with Indiana-based REI Real Estate Services. Louisville-based Calhoun Construction Services Inc. is the general contractor.

As I have previously reported, this is just one of many projects on the plate of Poe Cos. The company is developing a 15-story, 300-room dual-branded downtown hotel — the traditional Westin brand and the funky Moxy — at First and Main streets that could open in time for the 2019 Kentucky Derby. That’s an $80 million project.

And Poe Cos. is a partner in a downtown Louisville Homewood Suites at 631 W. Market St. that should open in 2018.

The company, which is led by Steve Poe, also has indicated plans to build a 107-unit apartment complex with more than 123,000 square feet near the intersection of River Road and Frankfort Avenue. The site is an undeveloped parcel owned Louisville Waterfront Development Corp. That project is part of Poe’s Riverpark Place development.

Marty Finley covers economic development, commercial and residential real estate, government and sports business.


TownePlace Suites & Fairfield Inn & Suites Springhurst

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Since 1985, when Bruce White started the company with a single hotel, White Lodging has been driven by strategic growth and genuine care for guests, associates and owners. Because of these characteristics, White Lodging has become a trusted hospitality partner for the industry’s premium brands, including Marriott International. White Lodging was the first franchisee of Fairfield Inn & Suites and one of the earliest franchisees of Courtyard by Marriott hotels.

White Lodging has continued to make innovative and strategic business decisions in key markets and nourished existing partnerships, resulting in sustained, profitable growth. Original partnerships, such as the one with Marriott International, continue to thrive, and new partnerships have blossomed with Global Hyatt, Starwood and Hilton. To date, White Lodging is the largest manager of Residence Inns, Courtyard by Marriotts and Hilton Garden Inns in the United States. As the vision grows, White Lodging will continue to strengthen these partnerships as they develop and manage hotels and restaurants together.

Calhoun Construction is acting as the Construction Manager on the construction of the new 4-story, TownePlace Suites & Fairfield Inn in the Springhurst area of Louisville. The new dual brand hotel will consist of 157 rooms, select rooms with kitchens, pool, exercise room and outdoor lounge. The building structure consists of a structural steel podium on the first floor and structural stud on the remaining floors and concrete braced by 3 grouted masonry cores.

Construction is scheduled to start in April 2017 with completion in 2018.

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Square Footage: 80,000 sqft
Year Completed: 2018
Project Location:  Louisville, Kentucky
Contract Type:  Construction Manager

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Timeline Photos:

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Massive Highlands beer bar now has an opening date

Jun 14, 2016, 4:15pm EDT

HopCat – Louisville will open July 30. The big bar, boasting about 11,000 square feet, has been under construction on Bardstown Road in the Highlands, at the former Spindeltop Draperies Inc. property, since last year.

The first 200 people in its doors that day will get a card good for a free order of its “crack fries” every week for a year. Crack fries are so named because they’re addictive, says the internet.

Throughout the building there will be specially commissioned original works of art, including an iconic mural titled “Aesop’s Fables” on the building’s exterior by DXTR, an artist from Dusseldorf, Germany, the release says.

HopCat – Louisville will be the ninth location for the brand, which is owned by Barfly Ventures in Grand Rapids. Renovations by HopCat and building owner Priam Capital are expected to result in an investment of more than $3.5 million.

The opening comes on the heels of the launch of HopCat – Lexington in October.

“We’ve worked hard to make HopCat – Louisville unlike any other,” Mark Sellers, founder and CEO of BarFly Ventures, said in the release. “I believe we’ve created a location that will serve as a hub for Kentucky craft beers and a magnet for local beer lovers as well as those visiting Louisville from around the world.”

The bar will feature at least 30 varieties of Kentucky-made beer on tap every day along with 102 rotating taps featuring craft beers from around the U.S. and the world.

The new location will also will bring BarFly Ventures’ waste reduction program to Louisville. The program has a goal of composting or recycling 90 percent or more of the waste generated at BarFly restaurants.


Homewood Suites by Hilton

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Since 1985, when Bruce White started the company with a single hotel, White Lodging has been driven by strategic growth and genuine care for guests, associates and owners. Because of these characteristics, White Lodging has become a trusted hospitality partner for the industry’s premium brands, including Marriott International. White Lodging was the first franchisee of Fairfield Inn & Suites and one of the earliest franchisees of Courtyard by Marriott hotels.

White Lodging has continued to make innovative and strategic business decisions in key markets and nourished existing partnerships, resulting in sustained, profitable growth. Original partnerships, such as the one with Marriott International, continue to thrive, and new partnerships have blossomed with Global Hyatt, Starwood and Hilton. To date, White Lodging is the largest manager of Residence Inns, Courtyard by Marriotts and Hilton Garden Inns in the United States. As the vision grows, White Lodging will continue to strengthen these partnerships as they develop and manage hotels and restaurants together.

Calhoun Construction and Wilhelm Construction are acting as the Construction Manager on the construction of the new 8-story, Homewood Suites in Downtown Louisville.  The new hotel will consist of 133 suite rooms, along with a full-service kitchen, pool, exercise room and conference space.  The building is supported by a foundation of grade-beams and mat slabs supported by auger-cast piles.  The building structure consists of structural stud and concrete braced by two cast-in-place concrete cores and one grouted masonry core.  The hotel will occupy a former PARC surface parking lot to add to the growing downtown skyline.

Construction is scheduled to start in November 2016 with completion in 1st quarter 2017.

 

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Square Footage:  97,123 sq ft
Year Completed: 2018
Project Location:  Louisville, KY
Contract Type:  Construction Manager

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Timeline Photos

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When you'll start seeing major progress on Louisville's Omni Hotel

Jun 2, 2016, 12:13pm EDT

If you have passed the future home of the Omni Louisville Hotel lately, you probably noticed all the commotion on the site.

Crews have been on the site, bounded by Second, Third and Liberty streets and Muhammad Ali Boulevard, for a few months now, but it has only been lately that we have seen vertical progress.

Jeremy Dawkins, Omni project manager, said in a new Omni newsletter that the project is still on track for a spring 2018 opening.

The project’s general manager, Birmingham, Ala.-based Brasfield & Gorrie, also has tasked contractor F.A. Wilhelm Construction Co. Inc., of Indianapolis, to establish the vertical support columns that have begun dotting the construction site in the last week or two.

“Beginning in June, visual progress will start being made as the project officially begins to go vertical with construction of each floor,'” Dawkins said in the letter.

Evelyn Strange, president of Louisville-based Advanced Electrical Systems Inc., Omni’s prime electrical contractor, said AES is taking its electrical power for the Omni and its parking garage from five dedicated LG&E underground vaults.

But Strange noted in the newsletter that a challenge is working in this type of setting and its limited space because of the sheer number of hotel rooms and apartments planned.

AES has worked on major projects in Louisville before, including the KFC Yum Center and Ford Motor Co.’s Kentucky Truck Plant expansion.

As we have previously reported, the 30-story, 853,000-square-foot hotel and luxury apartment complex will have about 612 hotel rooms and 225 luxury apartments, an urban food market, multiple restaurants, meeting and conference center space and a speakeasy with bowling lanes, among other amenities. (Check out the attached gallery to see how it will look.)

The project has been estimated to cost nearly $300 million, with the city and the state partnering with Omni to cover the costs.

Marty Finley covers economic development, commercial real estate, government, education and sports business.


Omni Hotel Construction and Sales Office

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Omni Louisville will be a  30-story luxurious property that will reflect Louisville’s warmth and hospitality, while embracing and celebrating the city’s authentic quality and charm. The hotel will be the luxury brand’s first property in Kentucky.

Set to open in early 2018, the Omni Louisville will be a catalyst to the city’s growth and urban development. Considered the tallest hotel in Louisville and located at Liberty and 2nd Street, one block from the Kentucky International Convention Center, the hotel will be the cornerstone in the city’s most exclusive entertainment, retail and office district, “Fourth Street Live!” The hotel will feature 612 finely appointed guestrooms and suites topped by 225 luxury apartments.  Other hotel highlights include:

  • Food & Beverage: The culinary experiences at Omni Louisville will include an all-day dining venue, lobby lounge, rooftop pool bar and grill, as well as an iconic Bob’s Steak & Chop House as the hotel’s fine-dining establishment serving traditional, American prime cut steaks.
  • Meetings & Events: The hotel will offer approximately 70,000 square-feet of flexible meeting and event space. Meeting and convention attendees will have access to an additional 300,000 square-feet of meeting and exhibit space at the Kentucky International Convention Center.
  • Lifestyle: Guests will have access to an urban rooftop pool deck, fitness center, a Mokara signature spa, lobby art gallery and a Speakeasy with a bowling alley.
  • Grocer: A dynamic, modern urban lifestyle market will connect to the hotel’s lobby. Transforming Liberty Street into a pedestrian thoroughfare, the market will serve as a community gateway for hotel guests, residents and locals alike.

As part of the larger Omni Hotel project in Downtown Louisville, Calhoun Construction Services was hired by Omni Hotels to renovate and fit out the former PARC building on the Omni project site to serve as their construction offices as well as sales office for the hotel until 2018.

Calhoun Construction served as the Construction Manager at Risk as well as general contractor on the project.  The scope of work included inspection and upgrading as needed of existing mechanical and electrical systems to serve the new layouts.  Calhoun self-performed all of the demolition on the project, as well as the studs and drywall, acoustical ceilings and painting.

By working with City Inspectors, Calhoun was able to obtain a Temporary Certificate of Occupancy for the Omni Construction offices on the 3rd floor after only two weeks on the project.

 

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Square Footage:  8,100 sq ft
Year Completed: 2016
Project Location:  Louisville, KY
Contract Type:  Construction Manager/General Contractor

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Timeline Photos

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