The 1200 block used to be the forgotten block of Broadway.
There is $30 million of investment in two major hotel projects and that part of downtown Columbus will likely be under construction for at least two years.
It will turn out to be the city’s most high-profile construction zone.
Demolition has started on the 1225 Raymond Rowe building. When this structure is gone, construction will begin on a new $18.7 million AC Hotel.
The old warehouse along Front Avenue is coming down first. As of Friday afternoon, it was more than half gone.
The main building will begin to fall later this month. It will likely be 2021 before the project by Columbus-based RAM Hotels is done.
RAM President Rinkesh Patel says there will be a groundbreaking for the more than 100-room hotel in the fall, likely October. RAM first announced the hotel in December 2016.
The financing is now in place and work started recently.
There will be more than 100 rooms in the AC Hotel and 88 more 75 yards away with a new Hampton Inn that is also under construction. That hotel is being built by the Pezold Companies, also of Columbus.
This is big news for Uptown Columbus.
“Well, it’s part of the progress,” said Uptown Columbus Inc. President Ross Hunter. “We have seen uptown progressing over the last few years and the 1200 block is now is starting to be that new block that is going to get all of this construction.”
The Hampton is expected to cost about $12 million. Pezold Chief Operating Officer Tracy Sayers said that it could be finished late next year.
The Hampton Inn will be owned and operated by Pezold Enterprises through its subsidiary Valley Hospitality. Tracy Sayers says the new target date for opening is late 2020. The hotel will be constructed first, then a parking deck along Front Avenue.
Both developers own hotels in the downtown Columbus area. RAM owns and operates the Courtyard by Marriott across the 14th Street bridge in Phenix City. The Pezold companies own the Marriott in the Columbus Historic District.
Horner says that Uptown Inc. has been working to lessen the impact on the 1200 block, which has a number of thriving businesses and restaurants.
“We feel like we have good plans in place,” Horner said. “We are working with the construction companies, the developers to really not have that much of an effect on the businesses and visitors down here.”
The 1200 block will have new look when the work is done.
“I think it is definitely the new block,” Horner said. “You know, I think we are going to see a lot of really great development coming on. It really expands the footprint of uptown. That’s what is so exciting.
“This vibe and energy we have had here in the 1000 block is really what has helped us in the 1200 block. It has helped us with the new Rapids. We are seeing projects pop up all over and the dots are starting to be connected.”