A new nine-story hotel is being planned along the Kanawha Canal in downtown Richmond.

Henrico County-based KM Hotels has the sliver of land under contract with plans for an AC Hotel by Marriott, a relatively new high-end boutique brand by Marriott.

The 150-room hotel would be built on property that is now a surface parking lot between South 12th and Virginia streets, just south of the Kanawha Canal and across the canal from the historic Lady Byrd Hat building. It would built on the south side of the Kanawha Canal, between the canal and the floodwall.

The project would include about 14 residential condos on the top two floors and a 4,000-square-foot rooftop restaurant, said Mayur Patel, the president and chief operating officer of KM Hotels, which operates 19 hotels in five states, including five properties in the Richmond area.

The building will have retail space fronting along the Canal Walk. That level of the building also will include the hotel’s public space.

The guest rooms would be on part of the third floor and all of the fourth, fifth and sixth floors. The rooms would be above a two-level parking deck with 78 parking spots.

Plans call for construction to begin during next year’s second quarter, pending approvals from the city. It would take about 18 months to two years to complete once work has begun, Patel said.

A metal building straddling the Kanawha Canal would be torn down to make way for the hotel. The industrial structure, used decades ago to process aluminum foil at the North Plant site of Reynolds Metals Co., blocks an entire area and covers that part of the canal.

Removing the plant building will help make the Canal Walk more active for those using it, the company said.

KM Hotels submitted a request Friday with the city for a proposal to swap small slivers of property that it has under contract near the planned site with some property that the city owns, said Richmond attorney Andrew M. Condlin with Roth Jackson Gibbons Condlin PLC.

One of the swaps would help to reconfigure the intersection of East Byrd and Virginia streets from a cul-de-sac to a more typical urban intersection, Condlin said. Another would provide the city the area needed to create a bike ramp from Virginia Street to the canal. The company also would like to swap some land in exchange for some excess property along the Canal Walk to become part of outdoor space along the hotel.

Once those approvals are given, KM Hotels would apply for a plan of development with the city, Condlin said.

Company representatives have met numerous times with Venture Richmond’s Architectural Review Committee and the homeowners in the adjoining Vistas on the James condominiums, Condlin said.

This project would be the second proposal for a hotel along the Canal Walk.

In 2017, developer Charles Macfarlane, principal of Macfarlane Properties, announced plans to put a 10-story Hyatt Place Hotel on a tract of land between the Canal Walk and the Downtown Expressway. But the project hit a snag in a legal dispute over the hotel’s plan to use Pope’s Alley, which runs behind the Lady Byrd Hat building, as secondary access to the hotel.

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