A proposed downtown development project could one day replace Quixotes and the Baptist Student Union, changing the face of North College Street and bringing a Southern Living boutique hotel to Auburn.
The project and its Southern Living partnered hotel would add The Plains Bar and Grill, The Plains Bakery, a spa and wellness center and 120 rooms within four stories to the downtown strip where Quixotes, University Inn
The bottom floor of portions of the development would be reserved for commercial retail space and an urban grocery store, and it would encircle a separate planned Wright Street parking deck being pushed by the city.
Several condos would also be included in the same development.
Architects from GMC Architects and representatives from Lifestyle + Hotel Group, a partner of Time Inc., presented the plan at the Auburn City Council's committee of the whole meeting Tuesday night.
Bill Shoaf, the CEO
Ward 2 Councilman Ron Anders asked the developers what led them to choose Auburn as their preferred location for the project.
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“Southern Living has a pretty strong love affair with Auburn,” Shoaf told the councilman.
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Southern Living recently named an Auburn restaurant, Acre, the best restaurant in Alabama, as well as one of the 10 best restaurants in the South in 2018. The nationwide Southern culture magazine has also named Auburn one of the best cities in the South in recent years.
Shoaf said that the location was compelling and that it was an easy decision to make. The group also has other Southern Living hotel proposals in Birmingham and Oxford, Mississippi.
“We realize the character and the history of the town,” Shoaf said. “And we will
The project itself would remain in development stages throughout 2018, but the company said it would look to put shovels in the dirt as early as January 2019, with construction expected to be completed in July of 2020.
Some council members and residents in attendance were excited about the growth and attraction that the development could bring to Auburn, while others seemed more hesitant.
The overall height of the building would be 75 feet, which allows for rooftop features, including a pool and bar. Currently, the maximum height for a building in the College Edge Overlay District, which includes much of Auburn's traditional downtown, is 65 feet.
A proposal to change that height restriction was on the council's agenda Tuesday, but the body delayed consideration of that change until April after negative feedback from some city residents.
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