Construction is moving more slowly than anticipated on the first hotel built in Tacoma in the last five years.
The 164-room Holiday Inn Express and Suites near the old Heidelberg Brewery will be opening in June of next year instead of in December this year as originally planned, said Han Kim, partner in Hotel Concepts Inc., the Seattle company developing the eight-story hotel.
Kim said the site where the hotel is being built at South 21st and C streets was softer than designers had thought, necessitating some rework of the design and some construction modifications.
The hotel has now reached its full intended height, said Kim. Roof construction will begin within two weeks, he said.
Building of the hotel began without fanfare about a year ago. Prior to that beginning, negotiations between the developer and the city’s Landmarks Preservation Commission had consumed several years for repeated redesigns.
The hotel site is adjacent to the Union Station Historic District and the University of Washington Tacoma campus. The landmarks commission rejected the first designs as incompatible with the rugged brick profiles of the historic railroad warehouses in the area.
Some landmarks commission members pondered whether elements of the old brewery should be preserved. That brewery, however, was a mishmash of architectural styles because it had been added to several times during its history.
After several redesigns that substituted brick for stucco on the hotel’s facade and modified the room windows to make them more like the windows in the area’s historic buildings, the hotel finally passed the commission’s review.
Preservationists had lobbied for the preservation of the brewery’s landmark water tower in the final design, but preserving that design element proved to be too expensive.
The eight-story structure will include a lobby and swimming pool on the first floor, three floors of covered parking and five stories of hotel rooms and suites. About 40 percent of the accommodations will be suites, said Kim.
The addition of 164 rooms to the city’s downtown inventory of hotel rooms is expected to make Tacoma more attractive for groups planning conventions at the city’s convention center. Convention center officials have bemoaned the lack of available rooms for large events.
The hotel’s total acquisition and construction price is expected to be near $22 million, said Kim.
Hotel Concepts has developed two hotels in Bremerton, two in Seattle and two in SeaTac. A third Hotel Concepts Inc. hotel is under construction in SeaTac on International Boulevard south of the firstname.lastname@example.org 253-597-8663