A new hotel is coming to University Boulevard in downtown Tuscaloosa.
Antonie Schmidt is back in Tuscaloosa after moving away several years. She and her three year-old son Marvin were driving downtown when something caught their eye, stopping them in their tracks.
"We saw the backhoe standing where houses used to be," Schmidt said.
The houses in the 2400 block of University Boulevard are being torn down. Their demolition makes for the second new hotel to come to the downtown Tuscaloosa area.
"People want to be here," according to Attorney Bryan Winter. "They want to be part of this championship community. I think the development of downtown bodes well for the future of other places in this community."
Winter says a Home To Suites Hilton will break ground here this spring. The hotel will have 110 rooms and is coming into the area at a time when there are several developments underway.
Winter describes the Hilton as a good addition to downtown and one that will help Tuscaloosa attract convention business.
"It's going to be beautiful. A lot of communities in terms of folks with families will want to stay. Folks who come in for businesses and maybe stay one or two nights. They'll have mini-kitchenettes. It'll be a really, really nice place to stay," Winter said.
A new apartment complex is being built next to the Home To Suites Hilton. Also, most of the floors of the PNC Bank Building two blocks away are being renovated for apartments. And the Embassy Suites that started the downtown hotel boom is closer to completion.
These changes make for what should be a busy future for downtown Tuscaloosa.
"Downtown is hopping. If you go down on a Thursday, Friday or Saturday night now it's tough to find a parking space. Fifteen, 20 years ago that wasn't the case," Winter said.
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