Atlanta development watchers will recall when a hotel project near the Fox Theatre was roundly chided for its blandness two years ago and kicked back to the drawing board—a move applauded by urbanists in a city not historically known for discerning architectural prerequisites.

Pitched for a surface parking lot at the marquee corner of Peachtree Street and Ponce de Leon Avenue, the hotel was to be surrounded by classical landmarks, including The Georgian Terrace hotel, the Ponce Condominium building, and the Moorish-Revival Fabulous Fox.

A 14-story amalgam of suburban office park and Designer Shoe Warehouse wasn’t going to cut it.

The scorned initial plans. Noble Investment Group

Thus ensued a three-month redesign process with developer Noble Investment Group, the City of Atlanta Planning Commission, and fresh architects with Charleston-based LS3P Associates at the table.

“It’s critically important that Atlanta expect more from its designers and more of its buildings,” Keane said at the time, in a prepared statement. “We can make a more vibrant public realm in Atlanta. Buildings are essential to this.”

The result was a 282-key, 14-story, dual-branded hotel with a more context-appropriate aesthetic that all parties involved applauded.

But is the world’s first combination of Courtyard by Marriott and Element by Westin brands under one roof living up to its renderings?

The project broke ground in June 2019, topped out last year, and remains a work in progress, though the exterior is largely complete.

watermark The exterior today, as positioned over Peachtree Street and Ponce de Leon Avenue. Josh Green/Urbanize Atlanta

The Courtyard component “will feature smart, casual décor, communal lobby spaces, and modern conveniences to accommodate guests multi-tasking, 24/7 lifestyle,” per the developers.

The Westin concept, meanwhile, will lean into “nature-inspired spaces, fully-equipped kitchens, spa-inspired bathrooms, and programs to stay active during your stay.”

watermark The base floors, with more lightly classical design flourishes reflective of surrounding landmarks. Josh Green/Urbanize Atlanta

The venture also plans to introduce a new bar and restaurant to the area, Noble reps have said.

It’s all expected to open in mid-2021, and at least from street level, it certainly beats the overgrown DSW mockup.

The revised 14-story plans, following a three-month redesign process in 2019. Noble Investment Group; designs, LS3P Associates

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