Friday, July 13, 2018

Buckhead Dream Hotel Far From Reality - Already A Nightmare For Neighbors

A New York hospitality firm is partnering with a major Atlanta landowner with plans to bring a new dual-tower boutique hotel project to Buckhead.  The 200 key hotel would rise at 3275 Roswell Road on the site of what is currently a single story strip shopping center home to The Big Ketch Saltwater Grill, among other tenants.  The hotel project, if financed and approved, could open as soon as 2021.  Dream Hotel Group would manage the hotel with Atlanta real estate company Cartel Properties developing, and Cooper Carry, an Atlanta-based architecture firm designing it.  The hotel would be called Dream Atlanta, Buckhead.  
Rendering of proposed Dream Atlanta, Buckhead hotel 

“Underwritten by a design philosophy that is both surreal and contemporarily chic, Dream Hotels are individually curated properties that together comprise a unique narrative,” says the company. “The design and experience of each property is informed by its locale and taken to Dream status by a pool of world-renowned architects and interior designers. The result is a stay experience well-suited to the discerning traveler who seeks comfort in a truly cosmopolitan atmosphere.”

Following the hotel's announcement Wednesday, a number of ToNeTo Atlanta readers and neighbors of the would-be hotel project reached out, concerned about the size and scope of the project.  The project would rise beside The Gramercy, a mid-rise apartment building, but more notably, in the backyard of many residents of single family homes of traditionally quiet Mathieson Drive.  

Not only is the project expected to have 200 hotel rooms, but also 90 residences, a spa and wellness concept, five "highly activated" dining and nightlife venues, including a 17,000-square foot rooftop pool bar and lounge, and last but not least, 80,000 square feet of office and retail space.

The release announcing the project did not explicitly indicate all the properties that the hotel development would encompass, but aside from The Big Ketch shopping center, there is an adjacent nearly one acre parcel that may be included as well.  An LLC controlled by George Rohrig of Cartel Properties already owns The Big Ketch shopping center (1.64 acres), and while he does not own the adjacent .82 acre parcel, his company does seem to handle leasing for it, judging from the sign on it.  Fulton County property records indicate that the adjacent parcel (3259 Roswell Road), which currently contains an approximately 8,100 square foot building, is owned by Janet M. Goethe.  

The center as it sits today 

The project is far from a done deal, as it still needs to be heard before Buckhead's Development Review Committee, among others.  Given the reaction we have received from neighbors already, it would appear the project will be an uphill fight.  

Reached via their PR firm, The Big Ketch, a casual seafood restaurant which opened in the center in late 2010 and is owned by Southern Proper Hospitality, had no comment on the planned development.  Other business owners in the center, who spoke to ToNeTo Atlanta but whom we won't name, all seemed in disbelief about the project, and seemed almost hopeful that it won't come to fruition or at least no time soon, and not as large as currently proposed.  

"Dream Hotel Group is a hotel brand and management company with a rich, 30-year history of managing properties in some of the world’s most highly competitive hotel environments. Home to its Dream Hotels, Time Hotels, The Chatwal and Unscripted Hotels brands, Dream Hotel Group encompasses three business lines: Proprietary Brands, Hotel Management, and Dining & Nightlife."

According to their website, Dream Hotel Group currently has eleven hotels open across four brands: Dream, The Chatwal, Time Hotels and Unscripted Hotels.  The company, which already operates a number of international properties, reportedly has another dozen or so in various stages of development, and says it is on track to triple its portfolio by 2022.  The Dream hotels website indicates that there are currently eight Dream hotels open and another eight more "coming soon," exclusive of the Atlanta project.  

Among the upcoming Dream hotels is one planned for historic Printer's Alley in downtown Nashville.  The 169 key hotel, which is slated to open late this year, is expected to feature six dining and nightlife venues, one more than the Atlanta project, and in line with the abundance of many Las Vegas casino hotels.    

Dream would be the second glitzy hotel announced to be coming to Buckhead following last fall's announcement that Nobu Hospitality was bringing a 150 key hotel and 10,000 square foot Nobu restaurant to Phipps Plaza.  The hotel and restaurant will be joined by a 90,000 square foot life Time Athletic gym, 300,000 square foot Class A office building, and a 30,000 square foot hall, on the site of the soon to close Belk department store.  The project has even been given its own name: One Phipps Plaza.  

Do you think the Dream hotel project should be approved?  Have you ever been to a Dream hotel?  What is your favorite hotel brand?

Please share your thoughts below.  


Anonymous said...

Oh shut it, NIMBYs. Buckhead is a rapidly urbanizing area. Get over it. We need more urbanity and less strip mall in this area.

Rick Thomas said...

I'm fine with it. I like it. Big Ketch is nothing special (like all Southern Proper restaurants). And the contiguous parcel is an eye-sore. Sounds like an ambitious project that would catapult the are further.

Anonymous said...

Such a bad location for this type of hotel. This is better off in Midtown where there is more of a “highly activated” nightlife vibe and crowd. This stretch right here is so different than their other locations and is just a horrible fit within the greater context of the area.

Anonymous said...

Build it, the single family homes here are already wedged between increasingly high density development on all sides, its just a matter of time before these areas are fully built up.

Anonymous said...

The Dream hotel project in Dallas keeps getting it's construction start pushed back due to picky zoning and neighborhood requirements. It's been ongoing for years now. I hope this one goes smoother.

Anonymous said...

I agree with other comments that this development will definitely improve the area that is already urbanizing and more walkable with shops & restaurants.

Anonymous said...

I've seen the area; just a run down strip mall- not enough cash flow to upgrade any of their current stores. Build the Dream; it's a welcome addition.

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