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    Final Phase of Union Station’s Makeover is Underway

    Union Station is located in downtown Nashville at 1001 Broadway and officially opened on October 9, 1900.  Back then, people wore their “Sunday Finest” and gathered in huge terminals that resembled castles rather than train stations. An excited energy filled the air, alongside soaring Victorian architecture, clad with ornate wood carvings and exquisite Italian marble.  It was truly a testament of American ingenuity and energy.  Over the years, Union Station has aged, and has need upgrading and remodeling.

    As many know, Union Station is now a Wyndham Grand hotel and home to Prime 108, one of Nashville’s most popular restaurants.  Remodeling began in 2006 after falling under new ownership, and today, workers are putting on the last and final touches of the project.  According to the Tennessean, the latest building permit was issued on July 27 for interior upgrades, exterior cleaning and window work at the hotel.  “When we bought it in 2005, it was an underperforming asset and we believe we restored it into an icon,’’ said Ray Waters, regional director for Turnberry Associates, which owns Union Station with local investment by Corner Partnership.  From 2006-2007, the hotel underwent a $12 million renovation of the lobby, guest rooms, and public meeting rooms.

    The restaurant and bar area had been outsourced and was also redone.  The latest renovations in this last and final phase will include lights in closets, grab bars in showers, some painting and window replacements. The cost listed on the most recent building permit for the upgrades is approximately $1 million. It’s part of a $1.7 million ongoing project that will close out the work “for the foreseeable future,’’ Waters said.  Constructors plan on being finished by the end of the year, with the hotel operating as it normally would until the work is finished.  Union Station is currently operating at 72 percent occupancy, according to Waters. It has 125 rooms and 15,000 square feet of meeting space.  Because of its rich history, the hotel is listed on the National Register of Historic Places and was designated by the Metro Council as a local historic landmark in 1999.  Owners of the hotel hope the remodel will make the hotel more “user friendly.”  (source) (picture 1) (picture 2).

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