|By Sara K. Clarke, Orlando
SentinelMcClatchy-Tribune Regional News
Nov. 02, 2012--Orlando hotelier Richard Kessler has a couple of new hotels in the works in two Southern cities.
Kessler, the hotelier behind Orlando's Grand Bohemian Hotel, said he is working on a 50-room hotel for downtown Charleston, S.C., and a 100-room property slated for Mountain Brook, Ala., an affluent suburb of Birmingham.
In addition to those two projects, Kessler said he has another site under contract and is considering four additional locations.
"We're in the process right now of looking at cities across America where we believe the Bohemian or Grand Bohemian product line will be well received," he said.
Kessler's Bohemian line focuses on high-end accommodations with an artistic touch. His downtown Orlando hotel, for example, features an art gallery and an Imperial Grand Bösendorfer piano -- one of only two in the world -- in its lounge.
Kessler said he hopes to start construction on the South Carolina hotel by August. That hotel, likely to take the Bohemian brand, will be on Meeting Street about two blocks from Charleston's historic downtown market.
"It's right in the center of activity," Kessler said.
Building restrictions in Charleston's historic district limit the hotel's size, but Kessler said that, in addition to 50 "very large" rooms, the hotel will have a petite ballroom for weddings, an interior courtyard-garden, and a rooftop restaurant-lounge.
The Alabama hotel will be built in partnership with Daniel Corp. of Birmingham as part of a 28-acre master-planned development called Lane Parke, which will include retail, offices, apartments and the hotel, which will take Kessler's high-end Grand Bohemian brand.
That hotel is slated to have an art gallery, 6,000-square-foot ballroom, spa, rooftop restaurant and bar, and a garden.
The two companies said their plans are at an advanced stage, though signed contracts and financing details are still pending.
Kessler's hotel collection currently includes 10 properties. The most recent addition is Bohemian Hotel Savannah Riverfront, which opened as a Kessler Collection hotel in Savannah, Ga., in July 2009.
email@example.com or 407-420-5664
(c)2012 The Orlando Sentinel (Orlando, Fla.)
Visit The Orlando Sentinel (Orlando, Fla.) at www.OrlandoSentinel.com
Distributed by MCT Information Services