Autograph Collection Hotel Planned for Former Anna Louise Inn Building

Shortly after breaking the news that The Banks development team is in negotiations with AC Hotels to bring the trendy European hotel brand to the central riverfront, UrbanCincy confirmed that the real estate development arm of Western & Southern is close to finalizing an agreement that would bring a boutique hotel to Lytle Park as well.

Multiple sources have confirmed that a deal is being worked out that would bring an Autograph Collection hotel to the former Anna Louise Inn. When reached for comment, Mario San Marco, President of Eagle Realty Group, acknowledged that the company is working diligently to bring an Autograph Collection hotel to the site, but that details had not yet been finalized or presented to City Hall.

Western & Southern executives had previously stated that they wanted to bring a boutique hotel to the site that would have somewhere around 106 rooms. The plan would fit the company’s larger plans for the historic district that call for creating a high-end enclave surrounding Lytle Park, which Western & Southern helped save from demolition in the 1960s by pushing for the creation of Lytle Tunnel.

Autograph Collection is a unique brand owned by Marriott International. Instead of the rest of their brands which maintain their names, Autograph Collection makes a unique name and concept for each of their sites. The closest such hotel is Cleveland’s 156-room Metropolitan at The 9.

Sources have also confirmed that, like the AC Hotel at The Banks, this boutique concept by Autograph Collection would be managed by Cincinnati-based Winegardner & Hammons.

The two recent hotel announcements appear to be the end of the center city’s recent hotel boom that has included a new 122-room SpringHill Suites, 134-room Residence Inn by Marriott, 160-room 21c Museum Hotel, 323-room Renaissance Hotel, 105-unit Homewood Suites, 144-room Hampton Inn & Suites, and a 144-room Aloft Hotel.

The boom has also included major, multi-million dollar renovations of the Hyatt Regency and Westin Hotel in the heart of the central business district. The remaining unanswered question continues to be what will happen with the deteriorating Millennium Hotel, which, at 872 rooms, is the center city’s largest, and serves as the region’s primary convention hotel.

Despite the addition of more than 1,100 new hotel rooms over the past several years, occupancy rates have held relatively constant. More critically, room rates and RevPAR – the hotel industry’s calculation of revenue per hotel room – have been steadily increasing over the same period and are now well above regional and national averages.

Project leaders at Eagle Realty Group declined to provide any specific timeline or budget for the project, but previously stated that they hope to get an operator under contract by mid-2015, with construction commencing shortly thereafter.

  • EDG

    What’s the term for something that’s wayyy beyond gentrification

  • I have no real idea but my gut tells me there is no way 3300 rooms is enough when the city has big events. I have acquaintances from NE Ohio that have stayed in hotels just south of Columbus because every room in the greater Cincinnati area fills up for the Flying pig. I know that is an outlier but it has to be a drag on some of the bigger conventions and sporting events.

    • Well those are just the rooms in Downtown, not even including Nky or anywhere else. With that said, the hospitality industry has been saying there is pent up demand for many years. It’s a bit unusual that nothing happened for so long then now this explosion. It really shows you how relunctant people were to invest in the center city for so long.

    • Its interesting how that plays out. When I have family in town there are those who want to walk everywhere and they’ll stay downtown. My other price conscious relatives will stay across the river in Covington and drive. I’m sure that mix of places is also an advantage that maybe other cities not sitting on a state line don’t enjoy.

    • EDG

      Chicago, Detroit and I’m sure many other cities have had the same recent hotel boom we’ve seen. I’m not sure why that is but hotels seem to be like baseball, they can make money batting .600

    • Compare us to Cleveland, which I’ve read by 2016 will have 19 hotels with 5,000 rooms. My gut tells me we can handle 3,300.

      My gut also tells me the Millenium might not be around forever…

  • Matt Jacob

    Isn’t there a new Holiday Inn being built on 7th between Broadway & Sycamore too? Or maybe I just can’t keep up with all these different brands anymore and it’s called something else now.

    • There is but construction has not really begun on it yet, so I didn’t include it in this listing.

    • Matt Jacob

      This is where it pays to have feet on the ground…. #koreaproblems

      They’ve been drilling pilings and doing foundation work for a little less than a month. Plus they’ve been demoing the old Red Cross building for 2 weeks and almost have it gone.

    • Actually, technical work on the site began much earlier than what you’re even saying. In fact, we’ve reported on its progress to date several times through social media and photo updates on the site. Work has technically begun on Hotel Covington as well – another one not included in my listing.

      Also in case you’re unaware, UrbanCincy is comprised of a team of a dozen or so contributors, all of whom, with the exception of me, our Washington correspondent and John, are located in Cincinnati full-time. But hey I get it, it’s always cool to try to catch someone in an error or come up with a snazzy hashtag, even when it’s about something that’s not the primary focus of the article.

    • Matt Jacob

      Sorry Randy. I didn’t mean to touch a nerve. Just a harmless joke there.

      I’m aware of the make up of the team and grateful for all the work all of you do. It’s impressive that you’re able to break news before the bigger games in town and the way you’ve helped shift the dialogue towards a positive self-image for Cincinnati over the years.

      That being said, it’s ok if you missed the start of construction here. I just wanted to add it to an otherwise very through list of hotel projects on the way. It’s good to see it all laid out together to get a better sense of the overall picture that’s developing. I definitely learned something from this article.

    • No worries. I was overly sensitive. I blame it on it being too early in the morning before I had my coffee. It was an oversight on my part. My bad.

    • John Schneider

      New 7th and Sycamore Cincinnati hotel is definitely under construction now.

  • Neil Clingerman

    I wonder if occupancy rates are distorted by the shape of the Millennium Hotel? Due to it having a large number of rooms and a bad reputation (look at its reviews on tripadvisor), is it an outlier? Is this something that’s making the rates seem constant when perhaps they are really shrinking other than the outlier which is distorting the data?

  • CollegeHill_45224

    Nice. Now can we start getting some businesses downtown? Real businesses, for the every day people. A Kroger, Home Depot.. a Mcdonalds for crying out loud.

    • EDG

      There’s already Dunkin, Subway and Wendy’s. McD’s has to have their drive-thru

    • Most chains are interested in trying new “concepts” in urban areas these days. We just got a Domino’s but it’s a special “Pizza Theater” store. Target has special “City Target” branding for their urban stores. Maybe Home Depot will be next with an urban concept.

    • Home Depot is actually already building urban stores around the US. Not many, but they have them, including one as close as Chicago, but also in Charlotte.

    • Now that you mention it, I recall that Home Depot has a pretty awesome store in Manhattan:

    • Neil Clingerman
    • CollegeHill_45224

      Wow! that sure is a lot to choose from. They need more affordable places. People, (tourists & visitors) don’t want to fork out $15-20 a person every time they want to grab a bite.

    • KeepReal

      There is also Chipotle. Panera, Lucy Blue, Gilpin’s, as well as a slew of places that serve an inexpensive lunch.

    • EDG

      I’d rather have what we have than a chain restaurant downtown like indianapolis

    • My wife and I eat out all the time without spending that much. I think the problem is places where I can eat and get a coke for $5 or so don’t make enough to advertise. You have to look a little harder for them.

    • My understanding is McD’s has been looking for years. 3CDC has even pitched them a few sites… but they want a stand-alone with drive-thru. And more importantly, they want to own their own site so they can charge the franchisee rent for it, do a land-lease, flip to an investor at a 4-cap, and rake in millions in real estate proceeds. (And here everyone still thinks McDonald’s is a burger company…)

    • Kevin LeMaster

      Ray Kroc famously stated that McDonald’s was in the real estate business — not in the hamburger business — back in the early 1970s.

    • It really sucked to lose the offerings inside the Tower Place Mall food court, but there still are quite a lot of places to go for a quick and cheap bite. They just happen to mostly not be national chains. There are, however, a collection of national chains that all seem to be quite popular including Panera Bread, Chipotle, Potbelly, Jimmy John’s, Subway, Dunkin Donuts, Starbucks and Wendy’s. There’s a lot of really tasty local stuff up on Court Street, but they unfortunately seem to have mostly daytime hours.