8-Room Boutique Hotel, Guest House Raleigh, Takes Big Step Forward

400 Block of South Bloodworth Street, February 2017.

400 Block of South Bloodworth Street, February 2017.

This past weekend, two historic homes rolled through downtown Raleigh from previous sites to new ones. The two houses along the 100 block of East Lenoir Street were moved to the 400 block of South Bloodworth Street to make way for a new 12-story, Element-branded hotel. Demolition of the Baptist Convention Headquarters building should follow soon.

Catch up on that project here.

Ahead of schedule!!

A post shared by (@guesthouseraleigh) on

As the new hotel is being worked on, one of the two historic houses will also be used for some downtown hospitality. The Gorham House will be renovated this year and there are plans for it to house an 8-room boutique hotel called Guest House Raleigh. You can follow the progress of the project on their Instagram account.

For a boutique hotel, this area of downtown is actually a great location being only two blocks from City Market and four from Fayetteville Street. It also won’t feel like the edge of town as progress on Stone’s Warehouse, to the east of Guest House, should start up as the developers finally closed on the site.

A huge congratulations to those behind Guest House Raleigh. I’m hoping big success there so others might take a stab at going the boutique route rather than the safer, more sterile hotel route.

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Comments

Move and save is a great way to keep and restore older homes and buildings. Thank you for the photos!

This is a great way to fill up empty lots near downtown, and clear up space in the DT core, in the right conditions. As far as downtown hotels, the TBJ did an article a few weeks ago about the going rate for rooms and vacancy rates downtown, and essentially concluded that demand for higher end hotel rooms wasn’t enough to justify a “luxury” brand at the moment. From what I understand, the lack of big hotels (the largest hotel in the city has 400 rooms) is a hindrance to getting “A” list conventions. So, it seems like Raleigh could really use one big hotel and then lots of boutique hotels.

@Steve. I agree to have historic homes moved to make room for more substantial and denser development in the city center. One could make an argument to have these homes moved even further east by a few blocks to expand the core to the east in balance to the west but that will be really difficult to achieve because the nature of the east side of DT becomes single family much more quickly.
As for hotels, without NBA or NFL, it will be difficult to fill high end hotels that cater to the privileged class with deep pockets. Conventions are not as concerned about this high end and prefer more modest budgets. That said, I agree that we could use another large hotel in the core near the convention center with 400 rooms in a “Hilton” or equivalent to augment the Sheraton and Marriott as an anchor hotel. This would allow 3 different conventions going on concurrently with each of them having their own host hotel or have much larger conventions that could be supported by an additional large hotel in walking distance.
I’d love to see Raleigh grow luxury hotel rooms in the boutique model instead of the major chain model. Talk around the Sir Walter as a possible location for such a hotel is right in that alley.

I’m for saving most any old building, but its stressing me out very much that these two very vernacular homes are being saved while places like the Hicks Mansion on Hillsborough St and 15 houses in the Maiden/Enterprise/Oberlin St areas are all likely doomed. Move them to the Oakwood area and they are 500k-1M dollar houses…fixed up of course. But the quality of the bones on these far outweighs the ones being moved from Lenoir to Bloodworth. Every article celebrating this move needs to also promote the value in saving other very old homes which in Raleigh are in a very limited supply.

Agree with all the comments – it’s so wonderful to see history being preserved in Raleigh. Frankly, it’s vital to the character of our city in my opinion. Completely agree with Mark, that there needs to be more aggressive historic preservation taking place. These buildings are what make our location unique and significant – we can’t lose that.

I mean, there definitely needs to be a balance. Historic preservation maintains character, as Mary said, but it also exacerbates affordable housing problems. Downtown has to increase density for both jobs (which helps with transit) and residences (which helps affordability), and the “urban” footprint of the city needs to expand beyond its traditional boundaries. So saving any old building probably isn’t the right strategy (and yes, I know, most of what’s being built isn’t as “interesting” as what’s being torn down, I concede that point) but smart preservation, that doesn’t discourage density and urbanization, is part of a healthy city.

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