Another new hotel could be going up soon in Downtown Mobile.
The city’s Zoning Board this week gave the go ahead for a six-story, 150-room hotel on the site of the old Roussos Restaurant on Royal Street in Fort Conde Village. A variance was necessary since the building is about twice as high as what is allowed in the area.
“If it’s a handsome building I don’t think it will be bad, I think it will be good,” said Larry Posner.
Over the last 15 years, Posner has developed all but a couple of properties in the village, including the beautiful Fort Conde Inn.
“It’s a lot bigger than these buildings but I think the actual position of the building will be such that it won’t interfere with the streetscape in the village very much,” said Posner.
Overcash Demmitt – a Charlotte based firm – is the developer. It has a number of hotel properties throughout the southeast.
“He’s done some historic properties in Savannah and Charleston and I believe he chose this area because of what we’ve already started here,” said David Posner, Larry’s son and operator of Fort Conde Inn.
The proposed hotel will have 150 rooms and be very similar in size to the Hampton Inn located just a few blocks away on Royal Street.
Land is being currently being cleared on Bienville Square for a 94-room Hilton Garden Inn.
Additional hotel space is always a plus for marketing the city.
“When we meet with meeting planners their number one question is how many hotel rooms are close to the convention center,” said Stacy Hamilton of the Mobile Area Convention & Visitors Bureau. “Because we have 1,500, going to be 1,700, rooms within walking distance, it’s a huge perk and benefit to us when we’re out there pitching Mobile.”
Both Posners say that the hotel could give the final push Fort Conde Village needs to reach its full potential.They plan to develop restaurants, shops, and apartments in the village. The opening of the nearby GulfQuest museum and the proposed removal of the Water Street ramp of Interstate-10 could further add to the area’s charm over the next several years.
John Serda, owner of Serda’s Coffee Company, last year proposed renovating the Roussos building for use as a brewpub and micro-brewery. He tells News-5 that the renovations proved too costly and that he is now looking for another property for the project.
Stephen Overcash, with Overcash Demmitt, would not comment on a construction time table for the hotel or what brand it would be, deferring questions to the owner Kal Patel.