City of Norfolk, developer announce plans to build hotel/conference center downtown

Posted at 4:47 PM, Mar 01, 2013
and last updated 2013-03-01 20:20:37-05

Norfolk, Va. – The City of Norfolk has reached an agreement with developer Bruce Thompson and Gold Key/PHR Hotels & Resorts to build a luxury 300 bed hotel, 50,000 square foot conference center and 600 space parking facility at the corner of Main and Granby Streets.

Mayor Paul D. Fraim made the announcement during a joint press conference today.

“The city is pleased to work with Bruce Thompson and Gold Key/PHR Hotels & Resorts on the development of a full-service luxury hotel and technologically advanced conference center,” said Mayor Paul D. Fraim.  “This is an important moment for Norfolk.  The hotel and conference center project follows closely on the heels of Waterside’s revitalization. These companion projects add $150 million of new development, more than a thousand new jobs and will grow and diversify our economy.”

The city says new $126 million hotel/conference center will generate nearly $2 million a year in tax revenue, and create more than 500 jobs.

The hotel is a $64 million private investment, while the conference center is a $42.5 million public investment.  There city says no new money is needed for this project.  T

The Public Amenities Fund, established in 2003, authorized the City to add a one percent tax on meals and lodging and collects enough money each year to cover the debt service on the conference center.

The estimated cost of the parking garage is $19.5 million and revenue from the parking system will support it.

"We will begin work with our designers immediately to develop a very unique urban hotel and restaurant complex,” said Bruce Thompson, CEO Gold Key/PHR Hotels & Resorts. Inspirations from the design will come from the SLS HOTEL in Los Angeles, W Hotels, the Delano Miami, The Hudson in New York City and other iconic urban inner city properties with a little "edge" around the country.”