A developer has filed plans with the city to build a six-story hotel downtown.

Called the AC Hotel by Marriott, the $30 million building is expected to open by spring 2021, said Andy Holloran, the developer behind it and several other recent downtown projects, including the contentious Black-Olive building.

The AC would be on the corner of Mendenhall Street and Tracy Avenue, right next to the Element Hotel, also developed by Holloran, and a block away from the yet-to-be-named boutique hotel in the old Armory building.

The AC would have 143 rooms and be about 90,000 square feet, with breakfast and lounge space on the main floor and a sixth floor terrace featuring a bar and restaurant, both open to the public.

“Which will probably have some of the best views in the state,” Holloran said.

Holloran said he hopes construction will start this summer, although the city must still review and approve the project.

Aesthetically, Holloran said the AC would have an “understated, sophisticated feel” with natural tones that are meant to complement Bozeman.

He described it as a “lifestyle” hotel for families and leisure travelers, filling a niche between the extended stay focus at the Element and the luxury experience at the Armory building hotel.

Having the hotels clustered together, with The LARK also nearby, creates a critical mass, Holloran said. It’s good to give Bozeman travelers more options downtown, without them having to go to hotels on 19th Avenue or on Interstate 90, he said.

He said he also anticipates the hotel would bring more business to downtown, at a convenient location for travelers to visit coffee shops, entertainment venues and retail stores.

“It will really round out what we have to offer in our downtown,” he said.

To make room for the hotel, Straightaway Motors and a couple vacant houses on Tracy would have to come down. Straightaway Motors would move to a new building at 2104 N. Seventh Ave., after occupying the Mendenhall location for 18 years.

Pete Colvin, who owns Straightaway with his son, Eric Colvin, moved there after being at Main Street and Grand Avenue since 1977, with a few short stints at different locations. The Main Street site sat vacant for several years after he moved out, he said. It’s now home to The LARK.

Colvin said he would miss the Mendenhall building, but he’s looking forward to being in a newer facility with better parking and fewer construction projects blocking streets.

At one point, Colvin said he talked to the city about renovating his Mendenhall shop, but the whole process would have taken too long. He said he thinks the city prioritizes hotels and bigger projects over smaller ones, and that there isn’t enough diversity in new projects.

Leaving Mendenhall after so many years, he said he likes everything about downtown but the direction it’s headed. Right now are the “good old days,” he said.

“I think, basically, most of what happens downtown is OK,” he said. “It’s not great or spectacular and it’s not the spawn of the devil. It’s OK.”

Abby Lynes can be reached at alynes@dailychronicle.com or 406-582-2651. Follow her on Twitter @Abby_Lynes.

Abby Lynes covers business and the economy for the Bozeman Daily Chronicle.

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