The second attempt at building a boutique hotel in German Village got a cool reception from residents in the historic district.
Developer Michael Casey and a team of architects unveiled plans for The McGown at Livingston Avenue and Pearl Street.
"We see this as a more upscale hotel, for sure," said Casey, noting starting individual guest rates would be about $200 a night.
During a Sept. 12 presentation in the German Village Meeting Haus, Casey said the five-story hotel would have 136 guest rooms and 137 parking spots some underneath the building.
An old house would be repurposed into a restaurant and marketplace on the first floor, Casey said.
He said he and the architect team took an extensive look at German Village and the hardscape features people have come to enjoy -- brick, slate roofs, urban gardens, courtyards, window shutters -- and tried to incorporate them into the design.
The first two floors are meant to evoke the facades of nearby buildings at that level.
The upper three floors have a glass facade and a modern asymmetrical design, Casey said.
Many of those attending the presentation said they believed the upper three floors and other components of the design looked out of place in the bedroom community where most of the structures are built largely of brick and wood.
Other criticism came from a meeting space on the third floor that led to an outdoor patio. Questions were raised whether people would be allowed to use that space for after-hours' gatherings with alcohol.
Casey tried to assure spectators the rooms were too small for banquet-style parties or weddings and the facility would be off limits after 11 p.m. or so.
Similar complaints were made from the neighborhood when the same development team and a different architect led an effort to build a boutique hotel last year but never fully moved through the approval process.
The hotel would be bounded by Livingston Avenue, City Park Avenue, Blenkner Street and Pearl Street.
The main entrance would be at Pearl and Livingston, Casey said.
Most audience members said they felt the hotel simply didn't fit in the historic district and was better suited to downtown or other up-and-coming neighborhoods looking to attract a more vibrant clientele.
"I think it looks like the Short North, and we are not the Short North," said Regina Acosta Tobin, a German Village resident and real-state agent in the area.