The boutique hotel space race continues as Downtown's Metropole announces possible sale

The race is heating up to see who will bring the next boutique hotel to Cincinnati.  So far the players include the developers of The Banks and Newport's Ovation, owner's of the Bartlett Building on Fourth Street and the former Red Cross headquarters site at Eighth and Sycamore, the developers of Uptown Commons along Calhoun Street, and potentially even Newport on the Levee's never-built later phase.

Insert the Metropole mid-rise building on Walnut Street into that conversation now.  You know the Metropole (map), it's that easy-to-miss building across the street from the Aronoff Center for the Arts sandwiched in between some of the trendiest dining and night spots downtown.

Currently an apartment building, the Metropole has been controversial for accepting Section 8 housing vouchers.  A transformation of this low-key residential building into the latest trend-setting boutique hotel would fit with the major transformations that have occurred around the Backstage District ajoining the building.

Cincinnati Center City Development Corporation (3CDC) has been leading this push to put the Backstage District into a primary entertainment district role for Cincinnati.  3CDC hopes to buy the 225-unit residential tower and transform the space into what many are speculating might become a 21c Hotel which currently has locations in Louisville, Kentucky and Austin, Texas.

Photographer, web designer and Louisville aficionado, Sherman Cahal states that 21c in Louisville has won several awards including the 2006 American Institute of Architects New York State Honor Award and the 2006 'Best Hotel' award for its interior design.

"I've been to their original location in Louisville and it is amazing," said Cahal, who also praises the hotel's artwork and restrooms.

Writer: Randy A. Simes
Photography by Scott Beseler
Stay connected by following Randy on Twitter @SoapboxRandy
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