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The Shell Building to Become 184 Room Hotel

Updated: Apr 24, 2019

Designed by Jamieson and Spearl, the 12 Floor building held it’s place at 13th and Locust ever since it was completed in 1926. Ever since then, this corner as been known as “Shell Corner”. As the city changed, so did the Shell Building. Shell Oil Company moved out and the building was converted into multi tenant office space. In recent years, the Shell has been surrounded by the abandoned Jefferson Arms complex and is nearly vacant in it’s own right in addition to the homeless issue at this corner. Most recently, in 2017, Little Rock based, Rock Capital Group, was looking into buying the Shell and turning it into a boutique hotel. Those plans fell through by the end of 2017.

Over the years, the building has struggled to attract new office tenants due to the buildings odd floor plates. The Shell is 115,000SF but the curved facade limits how office space can be laid out. Now, nearly 2 years after the hotel plan fell through, it is back with details being clearer this time around, such as cost and room count.

184 hotel rooms are planned along with street level retail space. No brand or operator has been named at this time. The developer is 1221 Locust LLC, which is the owner of the building and is connected to Askansas Developer, Reimagine Hospitality. The total cost of development is slated to be nearly $38 Million. 1221 Locust LLC is seeming the property to be blighted by the city in order to receive a 87% tax abatement on the property for 10 years. The abatement is meant to help pay off construction costs. Alderwoman Tammika Hubbard (5th Ward) supports the proposal and the request for the 87% tax abatement. The LCRA will review the proposal at their April 23rd, 2019 meeting.

The Shell Building Hotel will join the Last Hotel (142 rooms), the 21c Hotel (200 rooms) and the AC Hotel at the Jefferson Arms (198 rooms) in a roughly 3 block area. Each of the hotels will have their own flair to attract visitors. The Jefferson Arms project remains up in the air at this point. All of the hotels join a Downtown hotel boom that is seeing over 1500 rooms proposed, under construction or recently completed. Other hotel projects include...

  • Fairfield Inn at Union Station (Under Construction - 136 Rooms)

  • Hyatt Place at the Municipal Courts Building (On Hold - 150 Rooms)

  • LeMeridien St. Louis (Conversion and Renovation from Omni Majestic - Under Construction - 91 Rooms)

  • Live! By Loews (Under Construction - 216 Rooms)

  • Hotel Indigo at the LaSalle Building (Under Construction - 88 Rooms)

  • Hotel Saint Louis Phase 1 (Completed - 140 Rooms)

  • Hotel Saint Louis Phase 2 (Proposed - 82 Rooms)

  • The Last Hotel (Under Construction - 142 Rooms)

  • 21c Hotel (Under Construction - 200 Rooms)

  • AC Hotel at the Jefferson (Proposed/On Hold - 198 Rooms)

  • The Shell Building (Planned - 184 Rooms)

TOTAL ROOMS: 1627 Rooms

The above total does not include the planned redevelopment of the Railway Exchange Building which will have a hotel of an unspecified amount of rooms.

The gallery below includes the Shell Building and the Jefferson Arms as seen from the Sunken Garden (Lucas Park) and the Last Hotel.

UPDATE: 4/24/19

The Business Journal is reporting that the final cost for the hotel project will be $43.2 Million. The brand is slated to be a dual brand Home2/Tru by Hilton Hotel. The ground level retail space will equate to 2500SF. Construction should begin next Spring. According to the developers, they see the hotel being driven by the Convention Center expansion. They also told the LCRA that the extended stay and budget stay brands will offer some balance to the luxury boutique boom we have been seeing Downtown. The hotel room count has increased by 7 to 191 rooms. Parking still hasn’t been figured out at this point but the developer plans to work with the McGowans on using space in the neighboring garage or use space in the currently closed and condemned Tucker and Locust Garage.

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