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New hotel in Clayton to break ground Tuesday

A new AC Hotel by Marriott will be built on the lot of the former Clayton police headquarters on South Central Avenue.

CLAYTON, Mo. — South Central Avenue in Clayton will become home to hotel and condo sites as part of a development project that has a $100 million bottom line. 

A new AC Hotel by Marriott is on the way. The groundbreaking ceremony was set to take place at 10:30 Tuesday morning. 

The hotel will be erected on the lot of the former Clayton Police Department headquarters. The city of Clayton has been looking to repurpose the old headquarters since 2011 when the department moved to S. Brentwood Blvd.

The AC Hotel will be an 11-story building with 207 hotel rooms once completed. 

It’s just one part of the group of new amenities coming to Clayton. 

For example, a glass and steel tower will be built on the corner of South Central Avenue and Forsyth Boulevard as home to brand-new businesses. 

A restaurant, rooftop bar, retail space, 400-car parking garage and 300-person event space also are planned to pop up as part of this development project along South Central. 

To make room for this new high-rise, several small businesses, like the popular newsstand and convenience store World News on Clayton, have closed their doors and will be torn down ahead of new construction. 

Construction on the new AC Hotel was supposed to start in March of 2020, but the pandemic shut down the travel and hospitality industry. 

For those wondering whether now is the best time to build a hotel, experts say hotel bookings are starting to return to pre-pandemic levels. 

Hospitality Net reports weekday bookings have increased to save the hotel industry during the later part of the pandemic. 

Marriott opened an AC Hotel location in the Central West end in 2021 and a Le Meridian hotel in downtown St. Louis in May 2022. In 2021, the company said it had plans to open more locations by the Saint Louis Galleria and in Chesterfield. 

The new Clayton hotel is expected to be finished by the fourth quarter of 2023. 

Commercial developers hope all this new construction will attract more young people and nightlife activities to what they call the economic hub of the St. Louis area. 

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