by: Ciara Sutherland
The Elks Building
NEW BERN, N.C. (WNCT) – The Kessler Collection, known for its bohemian chic flair and luxury boutique design, has chosen the iconic Elks Temple landmark as its new project.
After a decade of stagnation, the historic building located in downtown New Bern is finally getting some life back into it.
It’s known for being the tallest and most prominent commercial building in the city. In early 2023, the Kessler team will begin its construction. The luxurious boutique will have 1,500 square feet of meeting and event space, an intimate speakeasy in the basement, a ballroom with lots of views and even a specialty coffee shop.
The bohemian style will definitely add to the eclectic vibe of the city with its museums, entertainment, boutiques and restaurants. There’s a lot of technical things The Kessler Collection must consider, but with a fabulous team of architects they’ve worked with for 10 years, Sotille & Sotille, they will spearhead the project of restoring the Elks Temple.
In a conversation with President & COO of Kessler Collection Design and Development Mark Kessler, he shares how Kessler is making plans to add its signature touch as well as preservation for its history.
Why did you choose the historic landmark?
“We saw the building for sale, and met with local officials, and everyone was welcoming. It’s a great city with potential, and we want to bring the grandeur back to it.”
The city uses a bear as its symbol so will the Kessler Collection incorporate the symbol somewhere in its design?
“I’m not sure if we’ll use the bear yet but we want to incorporate the history of the building and New Bern.”
Here’s an example of their past interior designs:
The Kessler Collection provided more information through a press release:
The Kessler Collection is excited to watch this new vision come to life and bring the Kessler touch to the beautiful historic city of New Bern,” said Richard C. Kessler, Chairman, and CEO of The Kessler Collection. “By restoring this iconic landmark in the hub of downtown and adding another key historic preservation project within the collection, the dynamic growth furthers the luxury hotel collection’s position as a discernable leader in the boutique lodging industry.”
The Kessler team will diligently work with the development, design, and construction team for the next 12-14 months to finalize plans with an estimated completion date of mid-2024. Additionally, Kessler will work with the New Bern Historic Preservation Commission, State Historic Preservation Office, and the National Park Service for the historic preservation of the Elks Building.
Upon completion of the historic restoration of the Elks Building into a boutique hotel, the property will be the brand’s third hotel in North Carolina alongside Grand Bohemian Hotel Asheville and Grand Bohemian Hotel Charlotte. The Kessler Collection spans Alabama, Colorado, Georgia, Florida, North Carolina, and South Carolina, with the recently debuted Plant Riverside District, Savannah’s Entertainment District, and Grand Bohemian Hotel Greenville coming Fall 2022.
Set along the picturesque Trent and Neuse Rivers of North Carolina’s coast, New Bern, is the birthplace of Pepsi Cola and the state’s original capital. Local restaurants, boutiques, museums, and live entertainment are within walking distance, making New Bern a year-round playground for leisure and business travelers.
Kessler project with J.E. Construction will start in 2023 and is hoping for a grand opening in 2024.
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