San Francisco-based Kimpton Hotels & Restaurants is the acknowledged industry pioneer that introduced the boutique hotel concept to the United States in 1981.
But beyond that, they are also the leader in the reuse of historic buildings: they seldom do new construction, and when they do, it’s almost always on a redeveloped infill site. This has, for over a decade, made them my (Storm) favorite hotel chain.
Now, on October 25, 2017, Kimpton announced its first property in Cincinnati, Ohio, establishing the brand in a fast-growing market and further strengthening their presence in the Midwest. The hotel is scheduled to open in spring 2019.
The property is regionally inspired and will be developed as an adaptive reuse of a historic building. The Traction Building, recently listed on the National Register of Historic Places, was designed by famed Chicago architect Daniel Burnham in 1902.
“As one of Cincinnati’s most historic sites we’re excited to see the Traction Building preserved and repurposed in such a creative new way. Visitors and locals alike will enjoy this dynamic new destination, and forge the future of our city with this significant piece of our past,” remarked Greg Huth, City of Cincinnati Interim Director of Community and Economic Development.
The hotel’s location, on the southeast corner of Fifth and Walnut Streets, is in the heart of Cincinnati’s central business district, surrounded by numerous Fortune 500 companies such as Kroger, Proctor & Gamble, and Great American Financial.
It is also central to key Cincinnati attractions like the Great American Ballpark, Paul Brown Stadium and the Cincinnati Arts Museum. The hotel will include 153 guestrooms, approximately 5,000 square feet of meeting space, a signature restaurant, a rooftop bar, and a fitness center.
To maintain the building’s elegance and classic architecture most prevalent during the turn of the century, many of the property’s historic elements will be restored or preserved. Interior design and architecture for the hotel will be spearhead by Ave Bradley, Senior Vice President of Design at Kimpton, in partnership with Poesis Design and Chamberlain Architects.
“The redevelopment of this historic landmark presents an opportunity to expand the limited boutique hotel offering in the Queen City, giving visitors and locals in Cincinnati a one-of-a-kind lodging and dining experience they’ve been craving,” said Gary Parkes, Principal of Parkes Development Group, LLC, the owner and developer of the new hotel.
“As the boutique industry pioneer with an inspiring approach to heartfelt hospitality, Kimpton Hotels & Restaurants was the obvious best-in-class brand partner for us,” he continued. “We aim to make Mr. Burnham proud of his reinvigorated architectural legacy in the center of the great and bustling city of Cincinnati.”
Kimpton is a known leader in adaptive reuse. The Traction Building in Cincinnati will be Kimpton’s second hotel in Ohio.The Kimpton Schofield Hotel opened in Cleveland in March of 2016. It, too repurposed and renewed a much-loved historic landmark: The Schofield Building in downtown Cleveland. — where pride, infectious warmth and passion abound.
Cleveland is in the midst of a Past-Meets-Present moment at the Kimpton Schofield Hotel, where this circa-1902 building houses a space that’s reflective of the city’s revitalizing new chapter.
“This is a very significant time for us as we increase our presence in the Midwest,” said Mike DeFrino, Kimpton Hotels & Restaurant’s CEO. “We’ve had great success with our recent openings in Cleveland, Milwaukee and Chicago that Cincinnati seemed like the natural next step. This will allow us to introduce our spirited hospitality and incredible food and beverage program to a brand new audience. We’re delighted to partner with Parkes Development Group on this unique addition to the city.”
Another recent historic reuse project was the Gray Hotel in Chicago. Kimpton now operates over 60 hotels and 70 restaurants, bars and lounges across urban locations, resort destinations and up and coming markets in the United States, Europe and the Caribbean.
Featured rendering of the revitalized Traction Building courtesy of Kimpton Hotels.