Restaurant operator identified for Hamilton hotel redevelopment

Credit: Nick Graham

Credit: Nick Graham

Exterior work for redevelopment of the former Anthony Wayne building must wait until after June 30.

The clock is ticking for Vision AWH LLC to have the former Anthony Wayne apartments transformed into the latest Tapestry Collection by Hilton hotel, but much of the construction must wait until the end of June to see if they are awarded historic tax credits.

The Hilton project, which will be called The Well House Hotel, is a $16 million redevelopment project that includes $3 million in funding from the city via a grant and loan through the Hamilton Community Improvement Corporation.

So far, the work on the former South Monument Avenue apartment building, which was originally built as a hotel nearly a century ago, has been limited to the interior and back-end work, said Matt Olliges, the principal of Vision AWH and president of Vision Realty Group in Northern Kentucky.

Credit: Nick Graham

Credit: Nick Graham

Some of that back-end work includes getting the attached restaurant to The Well House Hotel designed, though what restaurant has yet to be determined.

But Hamiltonians should be familiar with the operator.

Cafeo Hospitality Group, which is the operator behind Billy Yanks Restaurant & Bourbon Bar and several others around the Tri-State, will operate that space, Olliges said. The restaurant hasn’t been identified, though.

He said the stabilization work on the hotel’s interior is nearly complete. Still, the construction crew cannot work on the exterior of the building until they are approved for the State Historic Preservation Tax Credit Program. The redevelopment project is up for the program’s Round 30, which will be announced on or before June 30.

Stabilization will be done before the tax credits award is announced, so that leaves the back-office work to address: contracts, design drawings, bidding, etc., Olliges said.

“The idea is to get it stabilized, demoed, get everything teed up, and fingers crossed, we get the award, and then bush the go-button on July 1,” said Olliges, who has a deadline with Hilton to have the project done by July 2024.

The progress on the Tapestry Hotel project is exciting to see, said Mallory Greenham, who works in both the city manager’s office and the economic development department.

“The revitalization of historic buildings like the former Anthony Wayne is an important aspect of preserving a city’s unique history while promoting its growth,” she said. “Expanding our hotel space brings about a multitude of benefits, especially in encouraging visitors to stay and explore within our community during Spooky Nook’s busy weekends.”

Hamilton is under-hoteled, which is why Cohen Recycling is working with a developer to transition its current near-18-acre Black Street facility into a mixed-use development that would reportedly include hotels, office space, and residential space.

“When visitors choose to stay in our community, they help boost our local economy by supporting our businesses and restaurants,” Greenham said.

The Well House Hotel would be Olliges’ second development in Hamilton, as he redeveloped the building that houses Billy Yanks, and includes apartments in the stories above it. And while the mega-complex Spooky Nook is what brought the Northern Kentucky developer to Hamilton, Hamilton is what kept him in the city.

“There’s a common goal, and they’re all marching toward it,” said Olliges of the city’s administration. “Hamilton wants to build a relationship, saying, ‘Let’s work on the next thing.’”

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