Reusing a squat, 350,000 sq.ft. former department store, five historic buildings that were combined over time, has been a conundrum for a line of developers that have eyed AM&A’s and walked away. Rocco Termini and architecture and design firm Carmina Wood Morris think they have a winning formula. Their plan is to go mixed-use with an atrium and a light well to help bring light into the center of the building and break up the large floor plates.
An atrium is planned for the south half of the building (visible in second floor windows above), skylit above and extending down to the ground floor where the hotel lobby, bar/lounge, and dining facilities will be located. 117 hotel rooms will occupy floors 2-7, most facing Eagle or Main streets, and some overlooking the atrium. Above the hotel are three floors of “penthouse apartments,” 15 to 18 in all, with separate elevator access.
In the north half of the building, meeting room space and the pool/fitness center are located on the Main Street side of the second floor. The balance of the second floor and the entire third floor will be commercial office space, totaling about 25,000 sq.ft.
In the middle of the building’s north half, a three-story light well is planned to provide exterior wall exposure for apartments, 14 per floor, with floors four and five as independent living units and sixth floor market-rate. The light well will be a roof garden courtyard into which six apartments on each floor will overlook. The remainder of the units face either Washington or Main streets.
The hotel reception, porte-cochere and a ramp into underground parking is planned for the south side of the building along Eagle Street. Acquisition of the Eagle Street right-of-way needs to be negotiated for with the City. When auto traffic returns to this section of the pedestrian mall, a one-way lane could be installed to connect Washington to Main Street.