Dayton to get $50 million in new hotel products, over 250 new rooms
The partners are creating 120 rooms, including suites; a meeting space; a workout facility and a wood-fired restaurant concept called Bistecca, said Stephen Schwartz, president of Illinois-based First Hospitality.
The Ardent Hotel is a lifestyle-branded hotel that will appeal to travelers and consumers who value experiences, not just a bed and bath, Schwartz said.
The hotel’s design and branding emphasize Dayton’s unique character and will be a tribute to the ingenuity and creativity of the community, he said.
“Guests who stay with us will know that they are not in a typical, boring branded hotel that could be anywhere,” he said.
A new hotel, called the AC Hotel, is being built on a site about four blocks from the Ardent Hotel.
The property sits along East First Street, across from the Dragons baseball stadium and adjacent to the Mendelsons Clearance Center building, which is also being redeveloped.
Developers Crawford Hoying and Woodard Development began work on the project in July after a COVID-related delay.
The six-story hotel will feature an upscale rooftop restaurant and bar with indoor and outdoor spaces called the Foundry, as well as a fitness center, meeting spaces, lounge and a media library.
The hotel, which is expected to open in January 2023, is in a great location and will feature many high-end amenities not currently offered in the market, said Brent Crawford, director and founder of Crawford Hoying.
The developers, who are behind the thriving Water Street district, have opened a 98-room Fairfield Inn & Suites in 2018, just north of the ballpark at 305 E. Monument Ave.
The Fairfield Inn was the first new hotel built downtown in decades, and it proved popular. Downtown Dayton currently has about 385 rooms, between the Fairfield Inn and the Radisson-Dayton Hotel (formerly the Crowne Plaza) across from the Dayton Convention Center, officials said.
Crawford said the developers are confident the market can support this new level of product. He said the Fairfield Inn was a success.
“Dayton lags significantly behind other cities when it comes to available room counts, especially newer products,” he said. “The Fairfield Inn’s performance confirms our belief that a new product is needed in the marketplace.”
Cross Street Partners, the main development partner for the Dayton Arcade project, also wants to convert part of the complex’s north buildings into new hotel rooms. Cross Street says it is working on final details and financing for a 91-room hotel.
The hotel will be in Third Street Arcade and the Gibbons Annex. The initial proposal for these buildings was micro-apartments, but the developer abandoned these plans.
Some local leaders and officials say downtown could use a lot more housing, especially as the Dayton Convention Center is undergoing a major renovation intended to attract more events to the facility.
A study of the Dayton Convention Center and the local market concluded that the center could use about 500 new nearby hotel rooms to attract and host more non-local and major events, said Pam Plageman, executive director of the Montgomery County Convention Facilities Authority.
But Schwartz, with First Hospitality, said too many new hotel spaces could move downtown if developers, investors and lenders aren’t careful.
The Ardent Hotel and AC Hotel should adequately meet downtown hotel demand for some time, he said, adding that overcrowding is a problem in the hotel industry. hosting and that “stupid money does stupid things”.
Schwartz, however, said he thinks skyrocketing construction costs could put a damper on some additional hotel projects.
Joe Savarise, President and CEO of the Ohio Hotel & Lodging Associationsaid hosting saturation hasn’t really been an issue for the past few years.
Analysis and modeling of the hotel industry has become very advanced, he said, and potential investors and owners and operators are adept at forecasting demand.
Plus, he said, even a short-term room glut could work long-term if demand increases, especially following projects like the transformative redesign of the Dayton Convention Center.
“It’s important to have a long-term view when it comes to projects of this nature,” he said.