*feel free to merge into either PHX News or the original Hotel Monroe thread; not sure if this is still the preferred process.
Hilton Garden Inn/Professional Building
15 E Monroe, Phoenix AZ
The project includes renovation of the historic Art Deco exterior and the installation of new insulated windows; new mechanical, electrical and plumbing systems; as well as full renovation of the magnificent, soaring former bank lobby inside, which will serve as the main reception and gathering place for hotel guests. This space will include a lobby bar and a grab & go coffee area for guests. The hotel will consist of 165 guestrooms on 12 floors, a rooftop terrace, 5000 square feet of meeting space, a business center, 1300-square-foot fitness center, and on-site parking. The project will also include approximately 8000 square feet of retail space along Central Avenue. CSM Lodging is currently meeting with potential tenants and exploring the right complements to the property. Originally intended for completion by SuperBowl 2015, permits have just begun being pulled as of July 2014, making that timeline seem unreasonable.
THE PROFESSIONAL BUILDING
The Professional Building has a rich and diverse history in Phoenix. The 13-story Art Deco structure opened in 1932 in the depths of the Great Depression, housing the offices for Valley Bank & Trust on the three lower levels and the Maricopa County Medical Society above. Designed in the classic Art Deco style of the period with strong vertical lines, a central tower with set-back wings and windows, and decorative grills above the main entrance doors on Monroe Street and Central Avenue, the building was later crowned with a vast rotating Valley Bank sign, which became iconic and remained for many years. This sign and the Valley Bank & Trust building received a nod in 1960 from legendary Hollywood director, Alfred Hitchcock, as it can be seen in the opening scenes of one of his most storied films, Psycho. The bank also added a private dining club on the 12th floor for their top clients. To do so, a cantilevered walkway was constructed that gives that floor a unique appearance.
In 1993, the Professional Building was included on the National Register of Historic Places.
HOTEL MONROE [2007 - 2009]
During the boom years, the Professional Building was better known as "Hotel Monroe," the boutique hotel that Grace Communities was planning on converting the art deco building into. The extravagant remodel included an assortment of high-class amenities open to the public, which would have given downtown a much needed infusion of quality, around the clock, entertainment. These amenities included a late-night diner (6am-2am), rooftop night club (open until 2am on weekends), wine bar fitted into the old bank vault (open until 1am), lobby piano bar, pastry shop, chocolate bar, and space for street-facing tenants.
**For a walk down memory lane of one of Mortgages LTD greatest downtown victims, see the original thread: http://forum.skyscraperpage.com/showthread.php?t=141488
DUE DILIGENCE DISAPPOINTMENTS [2010 - 2013]
Since property switched hands and a new developer sought, several groups have come forward with interest in completing the original plans. Each year, a new deal was set to close, only to fail during due diligence. Lack of parking, damaged infrastructure due to the elements, and other excuses made up the list of reasons, until fall 2013 when a San Diego-based firm made it further than any past offers. Specializing in similar boutique remodeling, Grasshopper One LLC missed several dates and from out of nowhere, the building was signed-sealed-delivered to CSM Lodging out of Minnesota, known more for its collection of brand-name hotels than work with historic properties or boutique hotel development.
CSM Portfolio: http://csmcorp.net/u/lodging/
Articles on the CSM purchase:
Potential HP Conflict to Watch: CSM hasn't decided what to do with the adjacent Lodge to the east on Monroe; said building is the oldest building still standing on the original Phoenix townsite. The previous developers planned to demolish the building, but CSM seems more open to leaving it in tact, and the political landscape regarding historic structures has seemed to trend toward preservation it would seem, as compared to 6 years ago. Given the decrease in unique, public-facing amenities part of this project compared to a Boutique route, it would be great to see it preserved and turned into a nightclub or some other use not only open to guests to use, as the lobby bar and other Monroe-facing retail will be.