Late last week it came to light that the Clermont Hotel on Ponce de Leon Avenue, just blocks from the Beltline and Ponce City Market, was finally going to be renovated.
Last night, key project members, neighbors, politicians, and Atlanta’s most famous stripper — Blondie — gathered together at the fenced-off site to herald the "groundbreaking" of the project. Attendees had the chance to step inside the hotel — and even climb to the roof — to check out things before work fully gets underway.
The tour revealed the potential of the building, but also how much work will be required to make this inimitable 1920s structure habitable again. There are gaping holes in the concrete floors, chunks of walls are missing, and every window will have to be replaced. But the view from the roof highlights just how incredible the project could be when complete.
While commencement of construction marks just the beginning of what promises to be a long process, it's also the end of what has been years of delays and false starts. When addressing the eclectic, only-in-Atlanta crowd, Robin Delmer of Monarch Private Capital quipped that the speech for the ceremony was written in 2014.
Lt. Governor Casey Cagel and Councilman Kwanza Hall also alluded to the long process, complicated by a major sewer line and the need to accommodate required parking, that has mired the project in delays.
But with work starting, expect to see the boutique hotel heading toward a grand opening late next year. And don't worry — Atlanta's most famous strip club will remain in the basement, per public demand.