Downtown Aloft Hotel Opening Set
A Nov. 3 opening date has been set for the 175-room, eight-story Aloft Louisville Downtown boutique hotel being developed by investor Steve Poe at First and Main streets near the historic Whiskey Row district.
The hotel will be a Starwood brand property — its only one in the central business district — and will offer what a news release said will be \”tech-savvy touches such as a truly mobile, keyless entry system that allows guests to use their smartphones to check in.\”
Poe, CEO of the Poe Companies, the development team building the Aloft, said, “Main Street has transformed in the last five years, and we\’re thrilled to be building a vibrant, forward-thinking hotel in the middle of it. We think the Aloft is the perfect addition to the area and complements the spirit and energy that\’s already well developed.”
The cost of the hotel project has been estimated at $22 million. Poe\’s partner in the hotel venture is Indianapolis-based REI Real Estate Services.
The hotel will have Corner, a restaurant-bar concept that will include a patio bar where guests can dine on historic Main Street. Another amenity will be the WXYZ Bar in the lobby.
The Aloft will have a hiring event this Friday and Saturday from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.at the Springhill Suites,100 E. Jefferson St. About 45 full-time positions are planned, including bartenders, servers and cooks, plus front desk, housekeeping, security, sales and maintenance personnel.
Another Aloft hotel is under construction on Westport Road at Interstate 265.
The release said that Aloft guests \”can expect to find a high-energy atmosphere and urban-influenced design,\” adding that the hotel will feature a music series offering emerging talent in intimate performances.
Construction of the downtown Aloft began more than a year ago and is being managed by Whittenberg Construction. The Aloft will be managed by the White Lodging Group. The hotel expects to be LEED certified for its energy efficient features.
The Aloft will have nine-foot ceilings and feature bright colors throughout, with ample open space intended to encourage mingling. It also will have free WiFi, a fitness center and the Bliss Spa. Each room will have 49-inch screen televisions. And the hotel is being marketed as pet-friendly, welcoming dogs weighing less than 40 pounds.
Poe had consulted at length with preservationists on the design of the project, where three Marine Electric Co. buildings that dated to the late 1800s were razed. But Poe agreed to their request to incorporate the facade of a building facing Main into the entrance of the hotel bar.
He also saved some pilasters, beams and bricks from a building fronting on First by incorporating them into the lower levels, near the hotel\’s primary entrance. In exchange, the preservationists held off seeking city landmark status for the buildings — an effort that Poe had said could have put the project at risk.
In a project unrelated to the downtown Aloft, a Lexington development group led by Patrick Madden plans another Aloft on Westport Road at the entrance to Indian Springs subdivision in far eastern Jefferson County. That hotel will have about 125 rooms.
Starwood has about 100 Aloft brand hotels open in 15 countries.
Reach Reporter Sheldon S. Shafer at (502) 582-7089, or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.