July 18, 2014
A Marriott hotel will soon occupy about a quarter of the historic LeVeque Tower.
First Hospitality Group of Rosemont, Ill., announced a joint venture with LeVeque owners Robert Meyers and Don Casto to create a 155-room hotel within the tower that will open in early 2015.
The hotel will take up 25 percent of the building, while half of the building will go to office space and the other 25 percent for apartments, said Sarah Hatcher, spokeswoman for Casto. The apartments will offer concierge and valet-parking services.
Hatcher declined to discuss details of the financial agreement between First Hospitality and Meyers and Casto.
“We intend to send out updated details and a lot more information in about 30 days when the agreement is formalized,” she said.
The LeVeque is in the midst of a $20 million-plus renovation.
The increased development Downtown and unique architecture of the LeVeque attracted First Hospitality to the project.
“Not only is Columbus a great travel market, but this unique project affords us the opportunity to make an impact on the community by applying our adaptive reuse expertise to create a thriving future for this treasured piece of city history,” said First Hospitality President Robert Habeeb in a statement.
The company has converted historic buildings in Des Moines, Iowa; Milwaukee; and Omaha, Neb., into hotels and has a portfolio of 62 hotels nationally.
The 555-foot, 6-inch LeVeque was the fifth tallest building in the world when it opened in 1927 as the American Insurance Union Citadel.
The tower was purchased in 1945 by L.L. LeVeque, a Columbus businessman, and John C. Lincoln, chairman of Lincoln Electric in Cleveland.
It was subsequently purchased by Meyers, Casto and the other partners of Tower 10 LLC for $4.04 million in 2011.
The LeVeque’s Marriott will be part of the hotel chain’s Autograph Collection of properties.
According to Marriott’s website: “The Autograph Collection is a remarkable group of upper upscale and luxury independent hotels. These iconic properties are located in dynamic gateway cities and preferred destinations worldwide. Each one is unique, one of a kind and with its own distinct perspective.”