After years of waiting and planning, the renovation of Atlanta’s Clermont Hotel is finally underway. The historic hotel – just blocks from Beltline and Ponce City Market – is slated to open for business in fall 2017.
“We want it to be the Atlanta hotel that embodies the spirit of Atlanta – the one everyone sends their guests to,” said developer Ethan Orley.
Orley and his partner, Philip Welker, partners at BNA Associates LLC in Nashville bought the property in 2013. The road to finally kicking off the renovation project has been long, Orley said, but they are excited to finally start work on the building.
Built in 1924, the Clermont Hotel on Ponce de Leon Avenue was first an apartment building before it was converted to a hotel later in its life. It has been vacant for several years, except for its well-known basement strip club, the Clermont Lounge.
When they first heard about the Clermont Hotel, the business partners agreed it was the perfect project for them. They had just finished renovating a historic hotel in Knoxville and thought the Clermont had all the “bones” to make it a historic Atlanta hotel.
The two did not expect all the hurdles – a 100-year-old sewer line, a new tax state credit and the challenge of financing a building with a burlesque club in the basement. But at long last, the project kicked off Tuesday evening with a private groundbreaking. The completed project will have a rooftop bar and other amenities.
Orley said the neighbors and community around the area have been very supportive and thrilled about the project. They came with three requests, keep the building, keep the lounge and bring a unique hotel and services to the area.
Each of those is exactly that the partners envision for the hotel, where they hope to capture the spirit of its history.
“We are so thrilled and excited to be starting this project,” Orley said.