Hotel Melby anchors downtown development dreams

Hotel Melby, one block west of Melbourne City Hall on Strawbridge Avenue, is nearing completion.

Hotel Melby, set to open in late March 2021, has Melbourne officials pleased to see a long-range plan to revitalize downtown come to fruition and forever change its skyline as the city’s new tallest building.

A Tapestry Collection by Hilton, the 11-story, modern 180-room boutique hotel features 24 corner suites with all of its rooms with water and city views. There will be a wrap-around rooftop bar and lounge with outdoor terrace, fitness center and nearly 5,000 square feet of meeting space. A 170-space parking garage will have 30 spaces dedicated for public parking.

The 193,000 total square-foot structure was built on 0.57-acre lot that had been considered in 2010 for a hotel that fell short because of the economy, said Melbourne Economic Development Manager Doug Dombroski.

Because of that earlier “learning lesson” work, “We knew the footprint would fit,” he said.

Getting a hotel was a goal in a 2005 Community Redevelopment plan. “It’s taken us that long,’’ he said.

City staff is pleased the project turns a city-owned lot at the southeast corner of Strawbridge Avenue and Waverly Place that had been off the tax rolls into a $36 million investment that will generate new taxes and business activity, he said.

“We’re expecting it to be a really great thing for the businesses and the city. One of the things we’re trying to do downtown is make it a 24/7 environment, so the Hotel Melby is part of that. It should bring in different businesses that serve a 24/7 community,’’ Melbourne Public Information Officer Cheryl Mall said.

“That downtown area is gorgeous and has a lot to offer. We want to see it continue to grow and continue to be successful, so I think this hotel will play a major part in that,’’ said Tyler Collum, a partner with Duke Hospitality, a hotel management and development company based in Atlanta.

Added General Manager Carlos Cerda: “Hotel Melby will be a catalyst for the continued redevelopment of downtown. We expect to welcome approximately 50,000 hotel guests per year, who will represent additional pedestrian traffic for all the wonderful shops, bars and restaurants we have downtown’’ with 100,000 guests per year expected to visit the rooftop offerings, Cerda said.

“This will truly be a new anchor for dining and entertainment that will solidify downtown Melbourne’s place as the entertainment capital for the Space Coast,’’ he said.