Another piece in the ongoing revitalization of downtown Alexandria symbolically fell into place Wednesday.
A groundbreaking ceremony was held at the Holiday Inn Downtown Convention Center, which is being renovated by its new owners with an eye towards reopening in a few months. The transfer of the former Alexander Fulton Hotel from city ownership to Southern Hospitality Group was completed in May.
“I’m overwhelmed at how many folks showed up,” Jay Sharplin, managing partner of SHG, said of the crowd of well over 100 who came to Wednesday’s ceremony. “The demand is here. Folks want to see this.”
Alexandria Mayor Jacques Roy said he hoped Wednesday would be the first of several such ceremonies celebrating major new anchors in downtown.
The Hotel Bentley, which is connected to the Alexandria Riverfront Center like the Holiday Inn Downtown, is also undergoing renovations after being closed for several years. Central Louisiana Technical Community College plans to build its new main campus downtown.