In some form or another, a Hard Rock hotel has been planned for downtown Atlanta since President George W. Bush was in office.

The Great Recession squashed a Hard Rock hotel-condo concept once pitched for a site beside the Georgia Aquarium. More recently, a few blocks away in Castleberry Hill, construction delays have plagued the Reverb by Hard Rock, which was initially expected to open in early 2018, allowing months to prepare for Atlanta’s 2019 Super Bowl.

Fits and starts aside, downtown officially got its Hard Rock on a couple of months ago. That's when the music-themed lodge began accepting guests and flipped the switch on a huge LED lightboard that faces Mercedes-Benz Stadium, like two glowing neighbors in the night.

The 195-room, Gensler-designed Reverb, scaled back from initial plans, is the first example of a new boutique collection in the works by Hard Rock International.

Standing 11 stories, it’s topped by the swanky RT60 rooftop bar and includes a communal coffee area and unique lodging options such as “Roadie Rooms,” which have queen-size beds stacked in bunks (sleeps up to 10) and space to lounge around.

Nightly rates for this weekend, for example, begin at $129 for king rooms, up to $1,529 for a Roadie.  

As the hotel was nearing its debut in September, developers launched construction on the adjoining Castleberry Park Apartments, the residential component that project leaders have always said will complete the conversion of the formerly vacant block.

Frank Chen, COO of Bolton Atlanta LP and Dezhu US, tells Urbanize Atlanta the apartment phase will see 129 units constructed in three buildings around the new parking garage. The rentals are on pace to deliver at the end of 2021.

About 7,000 square feet of retail will be found at street level, including potential restaurant spaces, Chen says.

“It will be apartments for at least several years, and we’ll make our decision on condo conversion in the future,” Chen noted in an email.

The Reverb might be the closest hotel to The Benz, but it’s not the only one that hopes to benefit from game and event traffic.

As part of a Georgia World Congress Center Authority master plan, a Signia Hilton Hotel was planned at last check to climb more than 30 stories and feature 1,000 guest rooms.

Per early 2020 announcements, construction was expected to move forward in earnest last spring, once the NCAA Final Four that never happened in Atlanta had cleared out.

Asked for the latest outlook on that hotel, a GWCC spokesperson recently emailed Urbanize Atlanta: “The pandemic indeed delayed our plans, but we anticipate having updates to share regarding groundbreaking very soon.”

Castleberry Hill (Urbanize Atlanta)