Morganton downtown hotel

This rendering shows what the hotel will look like in downtown Morganton.

Developers and city officials will break ground on a downtown hotel on Monday.

A groundbreaking ceremony will be held at 3 p.m. at 400 N. Green St., Morganton, which is the location for the new Fairfield Inn & Suites Hotel, according to information from the city of Morganton.

The hotel has been a much-anticipated project and one that will define a major turning point for downtown Morganton, according to a release from the city.

Morganton Lodging Associates LP is developing the project. The group is made up of local and regional investors, but is led by developers David Bennett of Morganton and Michael Kren of Charlotte. Both men also are owners of Fonta Flora Brewery, which is located across and just down from the property where the hotel will be located, as well as other ventures, according to the release.

The city release said the groundbreaking on Monday will be the culmination of more than three years of work to bring it to fruition.

It said Kren and Bennett are ecstatic about the project, and said, “We believe that Downtown Morganton is a prime development opportunity. With Fonta Flora, and other great food and retail options popping up every day, the walkable nature of the city is a big draw to travelers. Not to mention the proximity to beautiful natural surroundings like Lake James and the Linville Gorge. Businesses also continue to invest in Morganton and Burke County, which will really help drive mid-week occupancy and economics for all of downtown.”

The four-story hotel will be a custom interpretation of the most updated version of Marriott’s Fairfield Inn & Suites, and will have 85 rooms, an outdoor pool and bar with outdoor seating located at the corner of North Green Street and Fleming Place, the release said. The bar will be open to the public and focus on craft cocktails and local flavors, it said.

The exterior of the building was designed to flow with the existing historic and mercantile feel of downtown Morganton, while also representing its state-of-the-art new construction, the release said. The city release says the hotel will boast amazing views from most guest rooms on the top two floors.

“From the South Mountains, to the Appalachians to the west, and Shortoff and Table Rock to the north, we have amazing mountain views almost 300 degrees around Downtown Morganton that we really want people to be exposed to and enjoy,” Kren said.

Corner rooms have been designed with large storefront-style windows for guests to enjoy the mountain views, a main pedestrian entrance facing Green Street, and the main guest entry for check-in from the parking lot, the release said.

One of the most pressing needs has been overnight accommodations in downtown, city officials say.

With the announcement of more than 600 new jobs, the upcoming N.C. School of Science and Mathematics, and tourism numbers continuing to rise annually, Morganton is ripe for investors of all forms, the release from the city said.

The addition of the hotel will make Morganton more attractive for conferences and meetings, bringing even more interest and resources to the area, the release said.

“A downtown hotel has been top on the recruitment list for years, but now the timing is perfect with support businesses, such as restaurants, ladies clothing stores, a general store, ice cream, breweries and an overall active downtown in place ," Sharon Jablonski, Main Street director, said. Solidifying the hotel will provide steady longterm growth for these businesses and others.”

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