LOUISVILLE Ky. (WDRB) --Downtown Louisville has cool stores and edgy restaurants.
But some developers think there is still something missing.
One local successful developer is investing millions in a new boutique hotel on Main Street.
The old Marine Electric Building at First and Main Street will soon be demolished to make way for the $22 million hotel.
The eight story building will be called the Aloft Hotel.
"The Aloft brand fits here on Main Street," says developer Steve Poe, "it is an upscale, hip, urban type hotel."
It will be the first Starwood brand hotel to come to Louisville. The hotel company also owns the Westin brand, among others.
Adds Poe, "this block is a perfect place for a hotel, it is one block away from the arena; two blocks to Waterfront Park; one block to the East Market corridor, so it is a great location for a great hotel."
Poe is in partnership with Starwood to build the hotel. He is involved with several other local developments including the successful and expanding River Park Place, just east of Waterfront Park.
The Aloft Hotel will be built right across the street from the soon to be developed Whiskey Row.
"I think this project will stimulate Whiskey Row," says Poe, "because we are going to put a bunch of new people here every night; the Aloft concept does not have a restaurant so I think it is going to be a good spot for restaurants and bars down here."
The new hotel will have 175 rooms, 2,800 square feet of meeting space, and a hip bar that will open onto Main Street with floor to ceiling retractable windows.
Poe says if not for the arena, he doubts he would be involved in such a project.
Chip Ohlsson, a vice president for development for Starwood, says Main Street in Louisville is a great place to build a Starwood hotel.
"Louisville is really an up and coming city," he says, "it has a solid foundation of people and a great lifestyle that we can build upon here."
Wednesday's announcement is the latest hotel project for downtown. The conversion of the old Stewart's Department Store/Hilliard Lyons property at Fourth and Muhammad Ali into a new hotel and office complex is underway.
And developer Bill Weyland is building a hotel on the southeast corner of Fourth and Chestnut.
Meanwhile post recession Main Street, from Slugger Field to Ninth Street remains one of Louisville hot spots.
Later this month, Heaven Hill Distilleries will open its new bourbon attraction, the Evan Williams Experience on Main Street across from the Kentucky Center.
Check out a video rendering of the hotel here.
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