Monday, September 22, 2008

We really need more hotel rooms downtown

The ABC reports that Toyoko Inn is planning to build a 861-room hotel at Luckie and Forsyth Street. I'm underwhelmed. More hotels for downtown. How exciting. Yawn.

I'd much prefer to see some sort of residential use for that piece of property. A quick look at the deals easily explains why that can't happen. Toyoko bought it from Selig in April for about $4 million. The property is only 0.3099 acres, for a price of $292/sf. You'd have to be able to get top level Buckhead and Midtown rents or price points to make residential feasible there, and downtown simply can't support that.

That little lot was always a favorite of mine for some reason. It's just a nice urban site right in the heart of Fairlie-Poplar, an easy walk to most of downtown's cultural offerings (such as Theatrical Outfit and the Rialto), big employers, as well as both parks. I get that this is probably one of the only development options for that parcel given the economics, but I'm still really disappointed.

I'm also a little curious to see the design of this building, since that lot is so tiny and Toyoko hasn't bought any of the adjoining lots. I wonder what their parking ratios are - are they going to build a twenty story parking deck, or are they just not going to have much parking? There are plenty of parking decks nearby, of course, so this may not be a huge issue. Still, that is a tight site.

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