The newest edition to Huntsville’s skyline is only one of many new hotels planned for downtown.
City planners don’t plan to stop until they reach 1,000. Not the number of hotels, obviously, but the number of hotel rooms available in the center of the city for highly-attended events.
The AC Hotel Huntsville Downtown, a Marriott property, is open for business and joins the Embassy Suites as two hotels overlooking Big Spring Park. AC Hotel is on the corner of Williams Avenue and Monroe Street and will anchor the mixed-use City Centre development.
The six-story building, which has 120 rooms, will eventually be joined by other hotels as part of the vast growth of business in the downtown area.
“It’s been a goal to get to 1,000 rooms,” Downtown Huntsville Inc. CEO Chad Emerson said. “It’s not necessarily about the number of hotels but the number of rooms.”
Construction will begin in the fall for a seven-floor Hampton Inn and Suites at the corner of Clinton Avenue and Monroe Street. The site is next to the garage that serves the Von Braun Center and is used for event parking.
One more hotel is in the planning stages and, like the Embassy Suites, AC Hotel and Hampton Inn and Suites, will be within a one-mile radius of the VBC. Curio by Hilton is slated for Jefferson Street near the Courthouse Square and an Autograph Collection boutique hotel by Marriott adjacent to Big Spring Park and PNC bank is planned.
And city planners aren’t stopping with the addition of these hotels.
“There have been three new hotels announced,” Emerson said, “and there are some that have not been announced.”
As the makeover of downtown Huntsville continues and expands, two new franchises are getting ready to open.
The Poppy is a traditional English pub on the North Side Square and held its grand opening Monday.
The Mercantile, in space formerly occupied by Crossroads Music Hall at 115 Clinton Avenue, is an entertainment and private party venue. The Mercantile will host its first musical acts July 3 with local rockers Rob Aldridge and the Proponents opening.
“We’re actively engaged in in the booking process,’’ co-owner David Clarke said of The Mercantile. “We’ve got quite a few bands booked.’’
Clarke said he and his partners at PBG Holdings want to provide a unique experience with the two new sites. They’re also bringing Arsenal Coffee food truck to the exploding downtown scene.
“We’re paying attention to details and trying to create a destination at The Mercantile,’’ Clarke said. “We want the people of Huntsville to come but also have people coming from Nashville, Birmingham.’’
Emerson is confident the new businesses will attract visitors.
“The Mercantile and The Poppy will bring unique new retail options to downtown Huntsville,’’ he said. “Both add another interesting and creative destination to our city center.’’
The AC Hotel by Marriott recently opened as part of the CityCentre development in downtown Huntsville. It’s the first of its kind in Alabama by Marriott and features 120 rooms and six levels. The hotel is one of two planned for CityCentre and another two have been proposed within the vicinity of the Von Braun Center.