A luxury hotel will replace the round Holiday Inn. Here’s what we know.

·2 min read

The mystery hotelier that will go in the 20-story tower replacing downtown Raleigh’s circular Holiday Inn was revealed Tuesday as Kimpton, a luxury brand with a growing footprint in North Carolina and around the world.

Raleigh’s Kimpton hotel will have 179 rooms, more than 6,500 square feet of event and meeting space, and three restaurant and bar concepts — including a lounge on the rooftop.

It will take up the first six floors of the high-rise, the company announced.

“Downtown Raleigh has long awaited a luxury hotel like Kimpton delivers. The amenities, restaurants and event spaces will raise the bar for hotel properties in downtown and establish the Kimpton as a sought-after destination for visitors and local residents alike,” Mick Walsdorf, CEO of Tidal Real Estate Partners, said in a news release.

Late last year, Tidal Real Estate Partners paid nearly $24 million for the 1.3-acre properties on Hillsborough Street west of Dawson Street. The site plan for the mixed-use development also calls for 350 residential units, 7,698 square feet of retail, and 447 parking spaces. It remains under review by the city.

A 2012 News & Observer file photo of the Clarion Hotel, right, on Hillsborough Street in downtown Raleigh, before it was renovated and converted back to a Holiday Inn.
A 2012 News & Observer file photo of the Clarion Hotel, right, on Hillsborough Street in downtown Raleigh, before it was renovated and converted back to a Holiday Inn.

The Kimpton Hotels and Restaurants brand got its start more than three decades ago in San Francisco, where it remains based. It’s grown to more than 75 hotels in multiple countries.

CEO Mike DeFrino said their three other North Carolina hotels — Hotel Arras in Asheville, Tryon Park Hotel in Charlotte, and The Cardinal Hotel in Winston-Salem — have been successful.

“We’re thrilled to be opening up a new boutique hotel in downtown Raleigh,” DeFrino said in a news release. “We think our design-led brand and welcoming, innovative restaurants and bars will really resonate with the city’s locals and visitors alike.”

The hotel is expected to open in late 2025.

The round Holiday Inn has been a landmark since it opened in 1969, then Raleigh’s tallest building. A Tidal spokesperson said it will likely come down in mid-2023, with construction on the new structure expected to begin later that year.

Tidal, a development company based in New York City, has spent more than $51 million on property in Raleigh in the past seven months alone.

Last month, they paid $20.9 million for properties in the Warehouse District zoned for up to 40 stories. Plans have yet to be announced.

They’ve also asked the city to rezone two parking lots along South Wilmington Street they bought for $7 million in December to allow for a 20-story mixed-used development. That request was scheduled to go before the Planning Commission Tuesday.

“Our continued investments in downtown Raleigh reflect our confidence and commitment to this market,” Walsdorf said in the release.

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