City gets final plans for downtown hotel

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$25-million, 107-room hotel will blend modern and traditional

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  • The Albert Hotel, a multi-story project, is proposed to be built at 209 E. Austin Street. Its building front will be on Main Street, next to Vaudeville. — Submitted photo
    The Albert Hotel, a multi-story project, is proposed to be built at 209 E. Austin Street. Its building front will be on Main Street, next to Vaudeville. — Submitted photo
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Final building plans for the $25-million, 107-room Albert Hotel project were received by City of Fredericksburg officials over the past week.

City Manager Kent Myers said the project planned at 209 E. Austin Street is the first boutique hotel to be developed in Fredericksburg.

“With our demographics and the visitors in our area, I think this hotel will see lots of business,” Myers said. “We’re really excited to see this type of project in our downtown area.”

Matthew Pipkin, co-developer of the project, said the team didn’t start with the idea of a project of this size.

“We looked at the site and the availability of the land, as well as the demand,” Pipkin said. “We let all of that form the design, and felt like 107 rooms was perfect for Fredericksburg and it was an economically-viable project.”

One of the aspects Myers said he’s most excited for is the economic impact it will have to the area.

“This is a major economic investment in our town,” Myers said. “It’ll be really beneficial for our city, especially during this pandemic.”

Myers also likes how invested the developers are in the community, as this project involves the Keidels, one of Fredericksburg’s most notable families.

“The developer has spent a lot of time here,” Myers said. “He and his team are very pro-Fredericksburg.”

Pipkin has some roots in the area, as his family bought a ranch outside of town when he was in fifth grade.

“We’ve been coming out here for most of my life,” Pipkin said. “I think it’s a great place and I’m excited to contribute to the town, and I think my team feels the same way.”

The plan for the project is to rehabilitate the White Elephant Saloon, the old pharmacy and the Keidel Home (Albertina House) on Main Street, as well as the Brockmann-Kiehne House on Austin Street.

The White Elephant Saloon building will revert back to a bar and the pharmacy building will be a café and retail space. The Albertina House, which is a lodging area, will serve as an event space and lodging villa.

Plans also include restoring the Brockmann-Kiehne house as a restaurant space. A restaurant and bar will also be included inside the hotel.

Additionally, they plan to construct a parking space in the 200 block of East Austin Street.

Historic Preservation Officer Anna Hudson said the project will complement the area without detracting from the traditional feel.

“It will be different and it won’t go unnoticed,” Hudson said. “It will be very large in size.”

Hudson liked how instead of demolishing local buildings for a project, they chose to restore several of the buildings.

“They are restoring the old White Elephant Saloon, which is great,” Hudson said. “These are the kinds of things that give Main Street such character.”

The project is in the final review phase with the City of Fredericksburg, which Myers expects to take three weeks.

Pipkin said he didn’t yet have a construction timeline, but will provide more information at a later date.