By Errol Castens/NEMS Daily Journal
OXFORD – The demolition of the Downtown Inn to build a new boutique hotel in its place has been rescheduled from this month to sometime in the spring.
The current structure began as a Holiday Inn in the early 1960s. Among the obsolescent features that prompted the present owner group to propose a ground-up rebuild are exterior room entrances and a lack of facilities for business travelers.
Chamblee Hospitality Group, which has owned the property since 2002, won neighborhood and municipal support with plans to expand from 100 rooms to 125 on a smaller footprint, more greenspace and an early 1900s “Chicago streetscape” architectural style. Its antique brick façade was touted as better fitting the site, which adjoins both the downtown business district and one of Oxford’s oldest residential neighborhoods.
The change is schedule is explained as allowing for extra design input.
Luke Chamblee, president of the Flowood-based owner group, said the changehis company has spent extra time communicating with both Oxford residents and travelers and tweaking details in response to their feedback.
“Since the initial announcement, the new development, named ‘Hotel Indigo Oxford,’ has been expanded to include additional private offices for corporate travelers, two board rooms, expanded banquet rooms, increased food service capacity, 10 total luxury suites, 24-hour room service and an expanded rooftop veranda and bar,” he said.
He added that the Indigo Hotel Group “recognize Oxford’s unique history, and they will allow us to build a destination hotel that will meet all the needs of the corporate visitor while also meshing seamlessly with Oxford’s historic Square district. We are Ole Miss alumni, and we will not start construction until the design meets all these goals.”
Current timelines call for demolition next spring and a Summer 2014 opening.