Restaurant plans, rental rates — plans are coming together along with the buildings themselves for The National, downtown Gainesville’s newest skyline addition.
Jeff Payne, chairman of Capstone Property Group, developer of the project, gave these updates on the $80 million-plus project at a Greater Hall Chamber of Commerce meeting Wednesday, June 22.
Hotel has been topped out, ceremony to come
The top floor of the 130-room Courtyard by Marriott has been reached.
The building facing E.E. Butler Parkway could start getting a new roof in a couple of weeks, Payne said.
A ceremony recognizing the project milestone could be held soon, after crews finish some retaining wall work.
The hotel has seven stories. The top five will be guest rooms. The bottom floor will be a parking garage and the second floor will be the lobby and entryway to a pedestrian plaza connecting to a 157-unit apartment building.
Work has been tricky at times
Working around utilities has been challenging “to say the least,” Payne said.
At one point, when dirt was cleared from an area on Spring Street, a water main line “blew out and we had a geyser overnight,” Payne said.
AT&T and Georgia Power also have infrastructure at the property.
“No major catastrophes have happened yet,” Payne said. “We’re very thankful for that.”
Traces of old bank will be found in project
When finished, the National’s appearance may seem familiar, especially to longtime residents.
The project will incorporate some of the look of the old Regions Bank, a 1960s-era structure that stood on the property before its demolition last year.
The top of the building will feature some of the same architecture. The National’s logo also depicts a little bit of the old look, particularly in the bank’s distinctive columns.
Restaurant could be announced soon
Plans are being made for the Walton Jackson building that will sit across from the apartment building.
The 35,000-square marble building, which was built after the Tornado of 1936 and sits at Green and Washington streets, could be the home of 3,000 square feet of meeting space serving the hotel, Payne said.
A casual-type restaurant could be announced soon in the building.
“Our goal is to end up with about three restaurants,” Payne said.
The latest on apartment, hotel rates
While room rates at the hotel are still uncertain, monthly rents could run between $1,400-$1,500 and low $2,000s for the apartments, depending on size of units.
The complex, featuring one- and two-bedroom units, will be targeted to young professionals, including hospital interns, and “empty-nesters who don’t want the big house anymore but want to be where they can walk to town and have dinner,” Payne said.
“We don’t see it as a place for families,” he added.
Hotel, apartments could open in spring 2023
The hotel and plaza could be finished by May 2023, with the apartments opening the following month, Payne said.
He said he hopes to know the schedule by early 2023.
The project, like so many others, has run into supply chain issues, particularly with roofing materials.
“The time for things like storefront glass is extraordinarily long, and the freight charges are astronomical,” Payne said. “The biggest increases we have seen have been in the furnishings for the hotel and (the freight).”