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Board OKs more 'classic' CentrePointe

Changes to the CentrePointe project unveiled Monday give it a more "classic" look, according to developer Dudley Webb, as well as making it taller.

The Courthouse Area Design Review Board approved design changes to the exterior of CentrePointe that were presented by the developers of the $250 million, 35-story luxury hotel-condominium complex.

Modifications include:

■ Topping the building with a 63-foot peak and spire.

■ Adding columns to the hotel entrance on Main Street.

■ Installing bay windows on the second floor overlooking the motor court on Vine Street.

■ Reducing the base — or podium — from four stories to three stories.

The podium height was altered to accommodate a request by the Marriott Corp. that will operate the J.W. Marriott Hotel to make ceilings taller and increase the ballroom from 7,000 to 10,000 square feet.

The hotel will have a second ballroom of 4,500 square feet.

The façade was altered after the CentrePointe design was peer-reviewed by Kling Stubbins architects in Las Vegas. "The design has matured," said Atlanta architect Michael R. Melugin, with CMMI. "It as evolved a lot from the first pass at the design."

He described the project unveiled Monday as "a contemporary interpretation of historic architecture."

Lowering the podium height and adding traditional touches such as columns to the hotel façade gives "a more humane scale in relation to other buildings nearby," Melugin said.

The podium on the Vine Street side will have a rooftop café and space for wedding receptions and other social events. This increases green space as the developers continue to work toward making CentrePointe a LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) certified building, said developer Woodford Webb.

Other interior changes:

■ The amount of office space has been reduced from 80,000 to 30,000 square feet.

■ The amount of hotel function space has been increased by 50,000 square feet.

■ The proposed pedway connecting the CentrePointe complex with an underground parking garage in Phoenix Park will be a tunnel, not an overland enclosed pedway.

■ The number of condominiums — originally 77 — has increased to 89 on the advice of marketing consultants who recommended there be some one-bedroom units, in addition to two- and three- bedroom units.

The tower will be topped with 12 penthouses, the largest being a two-story, 9,000-square-foot condo with a 360-degree view of the region.

At the downtown site, which covers an entire block, core drillings were expected to be completed Monday, Dudley Webb said.

Removing the foundation of the Graves Cox Building proved more of a challenge than expected, he said, adding that it will take "another couple weeks" to remove that foundation and prepare the site for excavation.

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