New hotel near One O'Connor Plaza unveiled
By BY ALLISON MILES - AMILES@VICAD.COM
Feb. 1, 2013 at 6:03 p.m.
Updated Jan. 31, 2013 at 8:01 p.m.
A rooftop pool, added dining and balconies overlooking DeLeon Plaza will soon bring added oomph to Downtown Victoria.
New details were released Friday regarding the hotel planned for the corner of Forrest and Main streets.
Plans call for a yet-unnamed hotel with six full stories - and a partial seventh - with 144 to 150 rooms, said Casey Beasley, a partner with Kemp Properties, which owns the land.
The partial floor includes a pool, poolside bar and workout room, he said, while fifth- and sixth-floor guest rooms will have balconies.
Although the company has not yet selected a hotel brand, that decision will likely come within about 60 days, said Jon Peck, a hotel consultant working with the project. Beasley said he hopes to see the business open by late summer 2014.
The project includes glassing in the pavilion in front of One O'Connor Plaza to create a joint lobby between the hotel and office building.
That lobby will accommodate a variety of businesses including a hair salon and flower shop, he said, noting the company hopes to see the facility become a destination for wedding receptions.
Indoor and outdoor dining and bar areas also will call the lobby home, serving up coffee, bagels and simple sandwiches, Beasley said. The grab-and-go type meals will not compete with the steakhouse going in on the plaza's top floor.
Dennis Patillo and his wife, Louise Hull Patillo, who are behind the incoming steakhouse, will also help oversee the lobby location.
Beasley said the added lodging will not take business away from existing hotels but will help meet a need in town. A number of companies, including those in One O'Connor Plaza, avoid hosting clients and events in Victoria, he said, because of a lack of rooms.
Calculations show the hotel could already have 54,000 room nights booked each year.
"Throw in weddings, and you start filling up nights quick," he said. "We're not stealing much business. We're grabbing business that hasn't had a place to go."
Other related changes are also coming to the area.
Beasley said the company has spoken with Woodhouse Day Spa about replacing its 12th-floor offices in One O'Connor Plaza with meeting space, something lacking in Victoria. Woodhouse's offices would move to the first floor, he said, and possibly incorporate a spa into the building.
The company will also add one and a half new floors - and an additional 135 parking spaces - to the existing parking garage to meet added demand.
Although the hotel is the company's main focus, it isn't the only growth Kemp Properties hopes to see.
Beasley said he hopes businesses follow the ongoing pattern of downtown renovation. New restaurants, bars and other endeavors would be a welcome sight.
"It's a pretty downtown but quiet in the evenings," he said. "We want to change that."
Dennis Patillo said the changes coming to Victoria - the hotel, Eagle Ford Shale activity, new industries, the city's Main Street Program and more - came together at the perfect time and meant exciting growth on the horizon.
"This is a magical time to be in Victoria," he said.