Lawrenceville is getting its first hotel in years, and it’s an adaptive reuse of an older building.
The Washington Education Center — the large brick building located at 40th St. just west of Butler (next to Wendy’s) — will be transformed into a boutique TRYP Hotel scheduled to open in early 2019.
Josh Aderholt, a 12-year resident of the neighborhood and principal at the Wheeling, WV-based Century Group, is largely to thank for what will be the first TRYP Hotel in the state.
Rather than cookie-cutter style, each TRYP hotel (there are six in the U.S. and more around the globe) is designed to reflect “the vibe, drama and feel of its city,” said Danny Aderholt of Century Group, developers of the property. Danny is Josh’s dad and has witnessed the many changes of Lawrenceville, a place he calls one of the coolest neighborhoods in America.
He and several others from The Century Group presented the plans for the 108-room TRYP Hotel at Row House Cinema on Wednesday. Shelby Weber, interior designer at Desmone Architects (they’re handling architecture for the project), was also on hand, along with David Breingan, head of Lawrenceville United.
The group is pairing with Kate Romane Productions, headed by the noted chef and owner of Black Radish Kitchen, to develop the food program at the hotel’s two restaurants, one on the ground floor and one on the rooftop. Romane Productions will also help choose the executive chef and culinary team for both restaurants.
While the hotel’s target audience is millennials, it is really for those “young at heart, passionate and hungry for experience,” said Chip Ohlsson, EVP of the Wyndham Hotel Group.
It pairs some of the sexiness of Ace Hotels with family-focused guest rooms that include bunk beds for little ones. Room rates will range from $150 to $250.
The hotel will feature amenities such as “social lobbies” along with “fitness guest rooms” offering exercise bikes and healthy breakfasts.
The site is one of the larger historic sites in Lawrenceville and in the past other developers had proposed plans that called for tearing down the 90,000-square-foot building, which was closed in 2006. It was important to the community groups, said Josh, to preserve the “streetscapes and overall look and feel of the site.” Inside, the space will still have the look of a school hallway, for example, and they will keep the gym floor.
There will be 100 parking spaces (good news for a neighborhood not known for many) and a rooftop area with a grand view of the Downtown skyline, complete with garage doors open to the city for a “light, fresh and airy” feel.
There will be two main entrances, one on 40th St. for residents of the neighborhood and visitors to head straight to the rooftop, and another behind the building. And each floor of the hotel will have a different theme: including metal, masonry, print/draft, wood and trade school.
The contractor is Franjo Construction based in Homestead.
David Breingan of Lawrenceville United spoke at the event and noted that the developer consulted with the community. “Change is hard on people,” he said. “Anytime there’s a new development we drag ’em through the wringer.”
More good news: They estimate the hotel will bring 50 new full-time jobs to the area.
Next year, Wyndham plans to double the number of Tryp Hotels in the U.S., expanding to Newark, L.A., Chicago and Nashville. The TRYP Hotel in New York was the first in the U.S.
Tryp Hotel follows other notable hot hotel brands in the city, including Ace, Kimpton, Hotel Indigo and Distrikt.