On Friday, officials from the City of Norfolk announced that they have been in negotiations with long-time Hampton Roads developer Bruce Thompson of Gold Key PHR Hotels and Resorts to build a world-class hotel and conference center in downtown. The $126 million project will include a 300 room hotel, 50, 000 square-foot conference center, and a 600 space parking garage. At 23 stories, the project will also include a rooftop garden and bar as well as three restaurants. Thompson, who is known for building high-end projects on the Virginia Beach Oceanfront, indicated that his goals with this project is to make it a “leading hotel in the Commonwealth of Virginia.”
This is not the first time that City officials have tried to secure interest in the site of this proposed project at the intersection of Main and Granby Streets. There have been several parties who have expressed interest in building a world-class hotel but all of those plans fell through at one stage or another. There are still several factors which could put the brakes on Gold Key’s proposal as well. First, Thompson is asking that the City pay for the $42.5 million conference center as well as the $19.5 million parking garage. Gold Key will take on the majority of the construction costs with the development of the hotel which is expected to generate about $2 million in new annual tax revenue and 500 construction jobs. Thompson also indicated that sequestration could kill the deal before final negotiations even begin. Stay tuned to the Virginia Real Estate Blog to find out about the future of this project.