Taking a step toward fulfilling a decade-old quest, Norfolk city officials announced a deal March 1 to build a $126 million hotel, conference center and parking facility downtown.
As part of a public/private partnership, Gold Key/PHR Hotels & Resorts will build a 300-key upscale hotel, a 50,000-square-foot conference center and 600-space parking structure at the corner of Main and Granby Streets, on a site the city spent around $16 million to clear.
Gold Key/PHR & Resorts will finance the $64 million cost of the hotel. The city will pay for the $42.5 million conference center using revenue from the Public Amenities Fund, which levies a 1 percent tax on meals and lodging. Officials say that the fund generates enough money to cover the debt service on the conference center without additional sources of financing. Revenue from the city’s parking fund will cover the $19.5 million cost of the parking structure.
“This is an important moment for Norfolk,” commented Mayor Paul D. Fraim. “The hotel and conference center project follows closely on the heels of Waterside’s revitalization. These companion projects add $150 million of new development, more than a thousand new jobs and will grow and diversify our economy.”
Bruce Thompson, CEO of Gold Key/PHR Hotels & Resorts, said that SLS HOTEL in Los Angeles, W Hotels, the Delano Miami, The Hudson in New York City and other properties will provide inspiration for the hotel’s design.
Rendering courtesy of the City of Norfolk.