BIRMINGHAM, AL (WBRC) - Birmingham is one step closer to having a new five-star hotel in the downtown area.
A developer wants to turn the Commerce Center into a 96 room hotel. The developer worked on the Redmont Hotel and sees this as a continuation of the work to improve hotel space and more restaurants for downtown.
The building at 1st Avenue North and 21st Street is the old Protective Life building.
The developer, Rhaglan Hospitality, will have twenty years to pay back the loan. Birmingham City Councilman Darrell O'Quinn, who represents the area, says it will add to the other hotels that are being developed for the area.
O'Quinn says this is a big plus to lure conventions and visitors with more options for people to stay downtown. "The interior is going to be first-class. It's going to be a five-star hotel. I think it will be one of the nicest hotels in the city of Birmingham," said O'Quinn.
Once construction starts, it's expected to take about 12 to 18 months to finish.