Hilton hotel, rooftop bar vitalizes Anderson block.

The skyline vantage point from the top of Whitney and Murry Street Garage draws amateur photographers and regular gatherings even when they aren't supposed to be there, said Anderson Assistant City Manager Andrew Strickland.

"We have to chase people off the top of the garage," he said. "Because it is such a good view, people want to hang out up there, watch the sunset, take pictures. It wasn't built to the assembly portion of our building code, so technically, we can't allow people to assemble there."

But that is how he knows there's pent-up demand for the rooftop bar that will soon crest the incoming eight-level parking garage on McDuffie Street and Market Street.

At the time of the interview, he couldn't share who will taking the perch, but he said the pick among several clients vying for the venue could be announced as soon as July 19.

The $9.4 million McDuffie Street parking garage designed by McMillan Pazdan Smith will hold 320 vehicles, including visitors to another public-private partnership Strickland said will be a boon for the city: a nationally-branded hotel with about 5,000 square feet of retail space at the face of South Main and East Market streets.

The addition of Home2Suites by Hilton to the boutique Bleckley Inn along South Main makes the area Anderson's accommodations district and sets up the city for "what it wants to become in the future, which is the most desirable city in the region," Strickland said.

"This is a tipping point for us," Anderson Mayor Terence Roberts said in a statement following the announcement of the brand in 2018. "Bringing a name-brand hotel to our downtown, and the complex nature of working with a national franchise is new to us. We are already on the radar of regional and national players, and the spotlight on us just got brighter with this key development on our horizon."

Home2Suites is one of Hilton's fastest growing brands in the country, according to Strickland, who serves as the city's project manager for the development.

"And I think post COVID, that's even going to accelerate. We've heard that from several of their locations," Strickland said. "It is extended stay and you have to request housekeeping. It is kind of hands off from a traditional hotel perspective, which now, that's the name of the game."

In a time that hotels are still playing catch-up to more than a year of empty floors and untouched beds, the extended stay venue Home2Suites by Hilton will answer the Anderson market's demand...

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