A New Downtown Hotel
We spend a lot of time here trying to make The District more attractive and more vital, but how often do we think about our gateways? They are the doors to downtown and create a first impression in the mind of a visitor.
The gateway at Providence and Broadway could use some improvement–and the consultants who put together the Downtown Columbia Planning Charrette tend to agree. Rangeline, our entrance from the north, is currently undergoing a major face lift thanks to efforts by Columbia College and the city. Coming into The District from the east is an attractive route, traveling past Stephens Lake Park and through the Stephens College campus. Until of course, you hit the Regency Hotel. It’s one of the first downtown buildings you see and while it may have had a charming mid-century modern feel when it was originally built, its 40-year old facade and crumbling parking lot can’t make a great impression now.
The most recent owners have done everything they can to improve this hotel but even they understand that the best solution is to build a new one. Hotelier Dave Parmley wants to do just that–build a new Doubletree, as part of their upscale brand designed for downtowns. He’s applied to the city for TIF funding to make this happen and received the go ahead from the TIF Commission. On Monday night, he brings his appeal to the Council. The District Board supports this project and looks forward, not just to a new downtown hotel, but a more attractive gateway into The District.