LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WHAS11) – A first of its kind hotel is slated for one of Louisville's fastest up and coming neighborhoods.
Developers broke ground on a multimillion-dollar hotel in NuLu this morning which they claim adds some flavor to the urban bourbon trail.
Marriott AC typically builds these types of hotels overseas, but developers say this is a $37 million dollar gamble that they think will pay off big for the entire neighborhood.
When Leslie Bowers opened up shop in NuLu six years ago she admits she never saw the neighborhood becoming what it is today.
"I would not have thought that,” Bowers said. “I knew it was going to be great, and it was going to be a good fit for me. I've been blown away by all of the development."
Developers have spent $175 million reshaping this neighborhood in just the past two years, and developer Ron Turnier says that's why he targeted the area for a new Marriot AC hotel.
"NuLu is really a very interesting part of Louisville,” Turnier said. “It's a gateway out of downtown, and to the east. Many of the hotels are focused on the central core of Louisville, and have a certain experience. This gets something a little more Louisville, and a little more authentic."
While Marriott AC is a popular hotel line in Europe it is new to the United States, and Turnier says its target demographic makes NuLu the perfect fit.
"It has limited service, and kind of feeds neighborhoods like NuLu,” Turnier said. “We're not going after the food market as much, but more of the limited service. We're letting the guest experience neighborhoods and kind of true city experiences."
While the new hotel will have around 8,000 square feet of retail space Bowers says it will draw more traffic to the area which is big for small business.
"There couldn't be something better to go in there just to enhance the neighborhood to bring jobs and economic growth to the neighborhood,” said Bowers. “Of course with them being my direct neighbor I can't think that when they leave it's going to be my store when I leave."