CONCORD — Hotel Concord renovations could begin as early as this fall with Rehab Development starting a more than $5.3 million project that could be completed as early as December 2017.
Developers plan to transform the hotel and adjoining properties into 40 apartments and retail space, while keeping the hotel’s classic event space.
Developers made the announcement this week, with a breakdown of some of their ideas for the properties, which include the Hotel Concord, the old bank building and the Concord Telephone Exchange Company properties.
Hotel Concord is located at 14 Union St N, Concord and the other properties are located along 21 Cabarrus Ave. E., 4 Union St. N. and 22 Union St. N.
Here is a breakdown of some of the ideas the developers have planned for the Hotel Concord and other properties:
• Hotel Concord itself will have 38 market rate loft apartments on the four upper floors of the hotel and approximately three retail spaces at street level.
• The historic ballroom of the Hotel Concord will be refreshed and reopened to continue as the event space it has been operating as for years. The event space will be operated by same management crew currently running the operation.
• The old bank’s corner lobby looks to be a community market featuring upscale grocery items and fresh produce.
• The Concord Telephone Exchange Company properties, which are located behind Hotel Concord on Cabarrus Avenue, will be transformed into two large upper level apartments with two additional commercial/retail areas at street level.
• Parking for the project will be located in the reconfigured parking area located between the Lofts 29 building and Hotel Concord.
Located in the heart of historic downtown Concord and established in the early 1900s, the Hotel Concord is one of the area's oldest historic hotels but over the years the upper floors have fallen into disrepair.
The only areas of the Hotel Concord that are in use today are the lobby, kitchen, ballroom (including mezzanine), and a small portion of the basement, all being operated as part of a single event venue.
Diane Young, executive director for Concord Downtown Development Corporation (CDDC) said officials have worked with more than 20 different developers over the last 12 years to find a project that would be the right fit for Hotel Concord, which many say is the centerpiece of downtown Concord. Rehab Development — which also created the Lofts 29 apartments at the corner of Church Street and Cabarrus Avenue —was the one developer to continue pushing forward on the project.
“We could not be more excited to have the opportunity to redevelop the one of a kind Hotel Concord,” said Patrick Reilly, president of Rehab Development. “It is truly a special building and we are thrilled to have the ability to bring it back to life as a proud focal point of downtown Concord.”
Reilly will once again work with Level 2 Development, out of Washington D.C., also a partner on Lofts 29.
“As specialists in urban, mixed-use projects, we recognize in downtown Concord the attributes that make great cities,” said Jeff Blum, with Level 2 Development. “An enthusiastic, loyal and creative citizenry, a daytime presence created by a healthy employment base, great walkability and access to public transportation and a historic fabric that grounds the community in the past.”
Local officials decided to work with Rehab Development and Level 2 Development on the Hotel Concord project thanks to their work on Lofts 29.
Rehab Development announced in August 2014 that the City of Concord closed a deal to sell the former downtown Heilig-Meyers furniture store building for $1. The building had been vacant for 13 years at the time and became an eyesore.
The value of the land without the building would have been $140,000, according to an appraisal. But the value of the property was actually less than zero because the city would have had to spend $168,000 to demolish the decaying building if it weren’t sold and renovated.
Now, the 29,898-square-foot, three-story building, is a $2.7 million renovation project that turned an old furniture store into a high end apartment complex with 26 units which were leased out within a few months.
Officials expect to see the same success with Hotel Concord, which can help boost the downtown economy.
According to a 2014 study completed by Place Economics analyzing the contribution of upper floor residential spaces to a downtown district, it is estimated that the 40 market-rate apartments with the Hotel Concord project will generate more than $414,000 a year in increased sales in downtown Concord.
“The project will immediately contribute to the local tax base through increased property taxes and sales taxes,” Young said. “It will also provide a housing product that is very attractive to young professionals, serving as a way to support a strong labor force in the creative and high-tech industries.”
Young said she could see other residential developments, similar to Lofts 29 and Hotel Concord, developing in downtown to meet that market.
Concord City Council has discussed the possibility of tearing down the old Concord city hall and city hall annex in downtown to make way for new construction. Officials stressed they would not tear either building down until a developer was lined up with a project. Between the two sites, new construction could develop about 80 to 85 residential units on those sites.
The fact that Lofts 29 leased up in just a few months and there is already interest in the apartments scheduled to be developed at Hotel Concord indicates there are more residents wanting to live in downtown. And with more “rooftops” comes more interest from businesses.
“The increase in residential units will be a catalyst for attracting new and unique business to downtown Concord, strengthening our brand as the creative center of the city,” Young said. “As Lofts 29 has proven a market exists for unique market-rate residential opportunities in downtown Concord.”