The Renoir Hotel at 7th and Market which over the last year was home to A Temporary Offering, which included the cool but temporary Rio Grande bar from the Trick Dog team that closed last month was purchased in 2012 by the Kor Group. Kor is known for the Viceroy brand of hotels, designed in high, maximalist style by Kelly Wearstler, who happens to be the wife of Kor developer Brad Korzen, and a onetime Playboy Playmate. And now the Business Times confirms that, with some investment from China, the renovation is underway with design from Wearstler in the works.
The unnamed hotel will be unlike the Viceroy, apparently, and "very different from anything she has designed before." Rest assured, though, it will be rad. And the planned 4,500-square foot rooftop bar will, undoubtedly, become a hot spot in no time. It will boast panoramic views of the city from the eight-story-high roof, adjacent to U.N. Plaza.
The Kor Group also recently revamped the former Milano Hotel on Fifth Street, transforming it into the Hotel Zetta, with another designer at the helm. Both of these projects are part of their Urban Retreats portfolio.
The 130-room, $40 million Renoir revamp does not yet have an opening date (it will be in 2014), and the Renoir was just closed down a month ago to begin the renovation process. Kor raised money for the project in part through the EB-5 program that allows well off immigrants to basically purchase temporary residency status in the U.S. by investing at least $500,000 in an American business.
The project will be a major boon for a struggling piece of the Mid-Market corridor, disconnected as it is by several blocks from the Market Square project where the Twitter headquarters is located and which has been the subject of much buzz surrounding the redevelopment of the area. Along with that egregious Nema apartment project two blocks up, the renovation of the Strand Theater as a new black box for A.C.T. across the street, and the construction of the Market Street Place (formerly called CityPlace) discount mall project between 5th and 6th, major change is finally afoot for the area.
Market Street Place, by the way, is just beginning demolition now on those buildings including the former St. Francis Cinema and the former Social Security building, with a projected opening in 2015.