20 High Street hotel project in Hamilton to be a Marriott Tribute brand

Construction on one of the city’s ‘most iconic buildings’ is set to start in 2025 with a completion date in 2026.

The hotel planned for the former Hamilton municipal building will be a Marriott Tribute brand.

The 20 High Street hotel project is being developed by Spectrum Investment Group and Acumen Development. Amro Kamal, managing partner of Spectrum, said the Marriott brand “brings so much to the table, with their membership and obviously their brand and name recognition.”

A name of the hotel has not yet been announced.

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“I also think it’s a sign of their confidence in Hamilton. This would be the second Marriott in Hamilton after the Courtyard. I think you’re seeing the same thing with Hilton,” he said. “The two biggest franchise companies in the hospitality world are both investing in multiple projects into the market. It probably says a lot more about Hamilton than our projects.”

Hilton’s Tapestry Collection will be the brand for the Well House Hotel at the site of the former Anthony Wayne, and Hilton is investing in a dual-brand hotel (Home2Suites and Hampton Inn & Suites) at Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard and High Street.

Hamilton Chief of Staff Aaron Hufford said this Marriott brand announcement “marks a pivotal milestone in the transformation of one of the most iconic buildings in Hamilton.”

“The new Marriott Tribute will be a premier hotel in Greater Cincinnati, and this investment will preserve this historic, architectural gem for future generations,” he said.

Kamal said they will seek historic tax credits from the state because the plan is to restore the building and preserve the history.

“Tribute is the perfect brand for this,” he said. “We’re trying to make this a Hamilton hotel, so if you think about all the history that’s involved in that building, aspects of the community. We’re trying to make it unique to Hamilton so that no one can get the experience at this hotel anywhere else.”

Even though the majority of the community may not stay there, Kamal said, “We want this to be something they’re proud of.”

Kamal said they’ll preserve as much history as possible in the nearly 100-year-old building.

The former Hamilton Municipal Building at 20 High St. was dedicated in November 1935 and is the epitome of Art Deco with several stone carvings and architectural features. On display in the historic city council chambers is a 16-foot-by-10-foot mural, “Founding of the Fortress,” by Hamilton resident Jack Willard when he was 28 years old.

Kamal said construction of the 150- to-160-room hotel could begin in 2025. The site was once the city administration building prior to One Renaissance Center’s construction.

The majority of the hotel rooms will be in a four-to-five-story tower addition. The upscale hotel will feature a covered valet at the riverfront entrance, rooftop outdoor and enclosed event spaces, and corporate-style suites. It will also allow Municipal Brew Works to expand.

“We’re just extremely excited about them being part of all this,” Kamal said. “Obviously, they have such a strong following and such a strong roots in Hamilton. We’re just excited about the fact that we’re starting Day One with a local presence and an established business and an established brewery.”

This project is in line to be the next hotel to be developed in Hamilton in recent years. In 2022, the Warehouse Hotel at Spooky Nook opened, and the Well House Hotel is expected to be completed sometime later this year.

There could be one, or maybe two, more hotels built in Hamilton. Crawford Hoying, which recently acquired the Courtyard, is developing a multi-use project at the former Cohen Recycling site. They are planning at least one hotel in the first phase of the project. There will be two subsequent phases of the project, and one phase could include another hotel.

Kamal doesn’t think the city will be oversaturated with hotels.

“I think the city has played a hand in making sure we’re not putting too many hotels into Hamilton all at once, but making sure they are differentiating enough,” he said.

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