CHARLESTON, W.Va. - As the city of Charleston moves forward with revising and adopting its new downtown redevelopment plan, work on two downtown hotels continues to progress.
Both hotels - a future Courtyard by Marriott and a Four Points by Sheraton - are part of the plan's proposed "Civic District," which centers on the Charleston Civic Center.
At the construction site for the Courtyard by Marriott on a site bordered by Kanawha Boulevard and the Elk River, site preparation and much of the foundation work is complete, said Charlie Wendell, a developer with Fayetteville-based Virginia Inn Management, Inc.
"All of that just takes a lot of time," he said.
Wendell said the five-story hotel will begin to rise vertically in about a month and has a scheduled opening date of July 1, 2014.
The hotel will occupy the site where the Elk River Town Center Inn and a Long John Silver's restaurant once stood.
It will feature all the latest amenities of new Courtyard by Marriott hotels, including a bistro that will serve breakfast, dinner and drinks; a fitness room and pool; free wireless Internet; booths in the lobby with individual televisions and a "GoBoard" touchscreen with local and travel information; and of course, an outdoor courtyard complete with furniture and a fire pit, which Wendell described as "exquisite."
"It's the latest generation of Courtyards," he said.
For the Charleston location, the courtyard will face the Elk River, and Virginia Inn Management plans to clear brush and landscape the property all the way to the river itself.
The city has long-term plans to build a walkway along the river that connects to Kanawha Boulevard. That project would border the hotel property.
Meanwhile, up the boulevard, Charleston residents and downtown office workers have been watching the Ramada Inn (formerly the Charleston House) transform from one end to the other.
When renovations are completed in October, the entire hotel will shut down for a few days and then reopen as a Four Points by Sheraton.