Developer T.R. Reddy got approval Tuesday to open the Holiday Inn Express at 444 Broad St. after the hotel’s franchise company, IHG, toured the 70,000-square-foot building. It stands on the site of several previous hotels near Gordon Highway.
Construction started in March 2013 and was completed about a month behind schedule. Reddy blamed winter weather that hit the area in January and February.
The project came in slightly over budget at $8.5 million, Reddy said, but he’s optimistic it will succeed.
“I think it will change the area,” the hotelier said. “We took a little bit of a risk, but I think it’s worked out.”
About 26 employees have been hired, Reddy said, with 10 more hires expected in the next two weeks.
Reddy said his goal was to finish the 118-room hotel in time for the Masters. It will open two weeks before this year’s tournament, Reddy said, and he’s already received interest from lodgers for that week.
The new Holiday Inn Express serves as a “gateway” into downtown, said Reddy, who purchased the site at an auction in 2009. The six-story hotel replaces a dilapidated facility that first opened in 1965. In the last 50 years it has had several names, most recently the Regency Inn.
The entire building was gutted to its steel structure to make way for the new hotel.
Holiday Inn Express was designed as an energy-efficient facility that receives Leadership in Energy Environmental Design certification. The design also includes an outdoor swimming pool, gym and meeting space.