Boyle Building in Little Rock Will Carry Aloft Hotel Banner

by Mark Carter  on Monday, Apr. 14, 2014 10:16 am  

The Boyle Building at 500 Main St. (Photo by Michael Pirnique)

The 12-story Boyle Building at 501 Main St. in Little Rock will be developed as an Aloft Hotel, according to announcement Monday by the Chi Hotel Group of Little Rock.

The Boyle Building was built on the corner of Capitol Avenue and Main Street in 1909 as the State Bank Building. Its redevelopment marks another key piece in a remaking of the Main Street corridor.

Executives with the Chi Hotel Group and city officials made the announcement at a news conference inside the building Monday morning. Jacob Chi, the Chi Hotel Group's managing partner, said the total cost of acquiring and renovating the building will be roughly $18 million, financed locally through IberiaBank.

Renovations will begin in about five months, Chi said, owing to the sensitive nature of renovating a historic building. He said he expects the project to be complete in the first quarter of 2016. He expects the project to generate a taxable income base of $85 million to $90 million.

The property will include a 3,500-SF upscale restaurant, 4,000-SF of meeting space and a rooftop pool and lounge. It will have 140 guest rooms -- a combination of rooms and suites -- plus a coffee shop on the ground floor.

It hasn't been determined what banners the restaurant and coffee shop will carry, but Chi promised nationally prominent ones. He said both will front on Main Street, while the hotel will have entrances off Main and Capitol. The hotel lobby will be accessed off of Capitol, he said.

Little Rock firms Jameson Architects and East Harding Construction will design and lead the renovation project, Chi said.

Arkansas Business reported in November that an Aloft banner was a possibility for the redeveloped property. The Aloft brand is owned by Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide Inc. of Stamford, Conn. (NYSE: HOT). Starwood also operates Westin, Sheraton and W hotels.

'The Ignition Switch'

Jacob Chi, whose family moved to Little Rock in 1984 from Taiwan by way of Guam, said the development represents his family's determination to help develop the Main Street creative corridor. He said he wants to take the energy created by the development of the River Market District and transfer it to Main Street. 

Chi said his family was dissatisfied with the speed of Main Street redevelopment.

"The speed of Main Street development has not gone to plan, in my opinion," he said. "We fully intend to make the Boyle Building the ignition switch to accelerate the rate of development."



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