The Quirk Hotel will open in two adjoining historic buildings on West Broad Street three blocks from The Jefferson Hotel, the grand lady of hotels in Richmond.
The targeted opening is Sept. 1, in time for the 2015 UCI Road World Championships, an international bicycle race that comes to Richmond on Sept. 19-27 along with tens of thousands of tourists.
“I always wanted to do a hotel in Richmond,” businessman Ted Ukrop, co-owner in the venture, said during a hard-hat tour Tuesday of the project. “I love Richmond. We’re an underrated tourist city. The timing was never right until now to do a hip, unique hotel.”
Ukrop’s wife, Katie, owner and director of the Quirk Gallery a few doors west of the soon-to-open hotel, will move her shop and art gallery into the first floor of 207 W. Broad, a three-story building that will be part of the hotel.
Most of the hotel — 75 rooms, a coffee bar, restaurant and roof-top bar with panoramic views of the city — will be in a six-story building at 201 W. Broad St., at the corner of North Jefferson Street.
Chef David Dunlap, of The Ashby Inn and Restaurant in Paris, Va., and former executive sous chef at The Inn at Little Washington, will be the executive chef of the yet-to-be named restaurant in the Quirk Hotel. The restaurant will seat 100 and is expected to open at the same time as the hotel.
The hotel will start taking room reservations in June, said Christian Kiniry with Bank Street Advisors, a commercial real estate broker, who is developing the project with Ted Ukrop.
Room rates have not yet been determined, Kiniry said. He also declined to provide an estimate of the project cost.
The 201 W. Broad building was a former department store, J.B. Mosby and Co. dry goods store, featuring dramatically high and arched ceilings. Historic tax credits will be used to offset the cost of renovations in this building, built in 1916.
The building for the gallery — once a bicycle and toy shop — will open to the sky with a courtyard in the center, the hotel kitchen in the rear and a couple of hotel rooms on the upper floors.
Parking for the hotel will be on two lots on West Broad and Grace streets, valet only.
“Art will be a huge part of the project,” Ted Ukrop said.
The rooms, gallery and lobby will showcase art from local, regional and national artists for display and sale — a fitting theme for a hotel in Richmond’s Arts and Cultural District.
The bar, an espresso bar and beds for the rooms are being made from reclaimed heart pine beams from the three-story building, which is now reinforced with huge steel beams.
Guest room walls will be painted either a soft gray or a Benjamin Moore pink called “love and happiness.” Trim will be painted a dark charcoal color. Floors in the rooms will be original hardwood flooring stained a light color. Desks are being custom-made from walnut.
“When you walk into this beautiful building, you feel a real responsibility to treat it correctly,” said F. Danny MacNelly, the lead architect on the project with 3North.
The concept is to build a hotel not just for tourists and visitors to Richmond, but for people from the Richmond area to meet and gather. “We want Richmonders to come to eat and hang out,” Ted Ukrop said.
“We love being this close to The Jefferson, a landmark for the city,” he said.
The hotel is owned by Ted and Katie Ukrop; his parents, Jim and Bobbie Ukrop; and David and Christy Cottrell.
Jim Ukrop bought six buildings along Broad Street and two surface lots in a three-block area in the vicinity in the mid and late 1990s, with an eye toward bringing vibrancy back to the once-bustling center for Richmond.
Ted Ukrop sees the hotel as one of three anchors for the comeback area.
The other anchors will be the Central National Bank building at East Broad and Third streets, which is being converted into apartments, and Virginia Commonwealth University’s Institute for Contemporary Art, a $35 million venue being built at Broad and Belvidere streets for art exhibitions and performance programs.
Parts of the 200-unit apartment complex are scheduled to open this summer. The art institute is targeted for completion by the end of 2016, although construction has been stalled for about 16 weeks.
W.M. Jordan Co., with an office in Richmond, is the general contractor for the hotel. Portsmouth-based TowneBank is the lender. Connecticut-based Poesis Design in the interior designer.
Colorado-based Destination Hotels, an operator of independently owned hotels, will be the hotel management company.
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