ATLANTA-Florida hotel developer Kelco Management and Development Inc. has designs on the historic Winecoff Hotel on Peachtree Street in the heart of the city’s business district. The company plans to renovate the 1913 building and turn it into a boutique hotel with 139 rooms, 4,000 sf of meeting space, a restaurant and a lounge. The hotel would keep its historic name–after the original builder, William F. Winecoff.

In renovating for a boutique hotel, Kelco is joining the trend to smaller, individual personal-service hotels. Atlanta has a paucity of them. In fact, the hotel is one of Downtown’s few remaining historic buildings.

The company would target both business and leisure travelers who want to stay in distinctive, historic or unique hotels. The property is next door to a MARTA rail station, and, with its central location, is convenient to conventions, arts and sports facilities. Kelco owns the property, and it is pursuing financing for the venture. Should the financing come through, the Winecoff Hotel would open sometime in 2002. Kelco is also looking for potential hotel opportunities in other parts of the city.

The 15-story Winecoff, which has been shuttered for nearly 20 years, stands on the most prominent ridges Downtown and across the street from the Ritz-Carlton Hotel.

The Winecoff has a tragic side. In December 1946, it was the scene of one of the worst hotel fires in the nation’s history. A total of 119 people died, including Winecoff and his wife who were residents in the building. In the 1950s, the hotel was renovated and opened as the Peachtree Hotel.

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