Serial hotelier and developer Richard Kessler was in Charlotte on Tuesday celebrating the “topping out” of uptown Charlotte’s newest entrant on the luxe hotel scene, the Grand Bohemian Charlotte.
Kessler, Chairman & CEO of the Kessler Enterprise Inc., joined several Charlotte community and business leaders in celebration of the ceremonial placing of the final steel beam into the hotel’s emerging frame. The tradition hearkens back to a Scandinavian folk-ritual of placing a tree atop newly completed buildings in acknowledgement of those involved in the construction.
The 16-story, 254-room hotel perched along the corner of Trade and Church streets, is on track to open in mid-March of next year, well in advance of Charlotte’s hosting of the Republican National Convention slated for August.
It’s the latest entrant in the expanding footprint of luxury accommodations in uptown following notable additions such as the Ivey’s and the Kimpton Tryon Park Hotel.
Since 2012, the number of hotel rooms in uptown has increased by nearly 30 percent, adding 1,200 rooms, according to the Charlotte Regional Visitors Authority. The expansion reflects the evolution of Charlotte’s center city as a destination well suited for holding high visibility events such as the NBA’s recent All-Star Game, the ACC Tournament, Charlotte’s Jazz Festival and RNC 2020.
A $40 million revamp of the nearby Carolina Theatre, which dates to 1927, will feature a 270-room Intercontinental Hotel on top.
Visitors to the new Grand Bohemian will experience an Argentinian-inspired feel that combines elegance with a Bohemian aesthetic – a vibe the Kessler brand strives for.
“I very much respect the Bohemian period in Europe of the 1500s where music and art was at a peek of interest to people,” Kessler said. “Creativity is very important with our style. We’re about music and art, and a sense of freedom for people to relax, be spirited, and enjoy the moment while visiting.”
Kessler said he likes to have “five percent funk” as part of the design formula that distinguishes his properties. “I want to catch people off guard,” says Kessler, “Where they have to stop and say, ‘Why did they do that? What is this about? This is fun.’”
Look for a comprehensive Argentinian art collection on display here — as Kessler has built a large collection after several trips to Buenos Aires, knowing he’d create a hotel around this theme. The Grand Bohemian Charlotte will feature amenities such as a full-service Poseidon Spa, rooftop bar with Venetian red marble, oversized rooms, a nine-foot Imperial Bösendorfer piano, live music and wine-blending classes.
While the hotel’s restaurant concept is still being fleshed out by the culinary team, it will be reflective of the Argentinian-style – think steaks and bold flavors served from an open-display-kitchen in a setting adorned with crystals, rich woods and fine fabrics.
The Grand Bohemian Charlotte is Kessler’s second North Carolina hotel, following the Grand Bohemian Hotel in Asheville’s Biltmore Village. Other southeast Grand Bohemian properties include hotels in Charleston and Greenville, which will break ground next month.