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Hard Rock hotel planned for former Gibson guitar factory in Kalamazoo COURTESY RENDERING

Hard Rock hotel planned for former Gibson guitar factory in Kalamazoo

BY Monday, March 01, 2021 04:27pm

KALAMAZOO — A new hotel under the REVERB by Hard Rock brand is planned for the former Gibson Mandolin-Guitar Manufacturing Co. building in Kalamazoo.

PlazaCorp Realty Advisors, Inc. and Dora Hotel Co. are partnering to bring the new hotel to 225 Parsons St. in Kalamazoo, which currently houses Heritage Guitar Inc. The redevelopment of the 103-year-old, three-story structure and attached 167,000-square-foot industrial space will include maintaining historic parts of the property.

“PlazaCorp has a long history of redeveloping historic places and creating reimagined spaces and this project does just that,” PlazaCorp Executive Vice President Andy Wenzel said in a statement. “Our partnership with Hard Rock connects the deep music history of this site with their appreciation of exciting and creative spaces, historic music events and artifacts.”

The new construction and renovation of the original building is expected to be completed in the fall of 2023. Planned amenities include a gym, bar, brewery and restaurant, banquet facility, auditorium and a museum. Wenzel declined to comment on additional details about the project.

The only other REVERB by Hard Rock hotel is located in downtown Atlanta, according to the company’s website. 

“We are incredibly excited about our partnership with PlazaCorp Realty Advisors and Dora Hotel Co., allowing REVERB to expand to a prime city in Michigan,” Todd Hricko, senior vice president of hotel development at Hard Rock International, said in a statement. “REVERB Kalamazoo is the perfect new location for the REVERB by Hard Rock brand, with several announcements in other major U.S. cities set to be made within the year.”

The hotel brand aims to highlight Hard Rock’s music-centric theme but with its “own unique spin, celebrating modern music lovers while encouraging them to connect and create in a new city,” according to a news release. 

Gibson Guitar Corp. operated from the historic building from 1917 to 1984 before the company relocated to Tennessee. Some former employees stayed in the area and acquired space in the building in 1985, where they continued making guitars under the Heritage Guitar Inc. name.

Property records show the building was purchased for $433,333 on Dec. 31, 2014 by 225 Parsons LLC, which is registered to PlazaCorp owner Jeff Nicholson.

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