Evolution plans $30M renovation of historic Gunter Hotel 

The Sheraton Gunter Hotel in downtown San Antonio is poised for a major overhaul.

Los Angeles-based Evolution Hospitality, led by president William Loughran, plans a $30 million renovation of the historic hotel at 205 East Houston Street, removing the word “Sheraton” as part of the rebranding, the San Antonio Business Journal reported. The project is expected to start in early 2024 and be completed by November of next year. 

With the renovation, Evolution hopes to join the Marriott’s Tribute Portfolio, a line of boutique hotels that includes the Austin Southpark Hotel and the Tremont House in Galveston. Being part of this exclusive brand would give the firm more flexibility with its design strategy, while connecting with the city on a deeper level, said Ryan McCarthy, Evolution’s vice president of operations.

The company plans to overhaul all of the guest rooms, the lobby, common areas and the exterior, using historic tax credits to help fund the project. The fitness center will be doubled in size, and a Top Golf simulator will be installed next to Bar 414. After the renovation, the room count will be reduced from 322 to 314.

“The areas that need (renovations) the most right now in the hotel are the guest rooms, but we certainly didn’t stop there on the overall scope of this work,” McCarthy, told the outlet. “We really want this to be a full transformation.”

The revamped hotel will include features that highlight the Gunter’s rich musical history, as legendary blues musicians Robert Johnson recorded at the hotel, built in 1909. John Mellencamp recorded part of an album there in 2010. The developer is considering installing a recording studio for musicians and podcasters.

Large-scale hotel projects have started to proliferate in downtown San Antonio this year, following a tough-stretch for the city’s lodging industry after the pandemic.

IHG Hotels & Resorts and Scarlett Hotel Group are planning a $158 million transformation of the shuttered Wyndham hotel at 111 East Pecan Street, a few blocks from the Gunter. And Blueprint Hospitality plans to spend $55 million to convert the old CPS Energy headquarters at 145 Navarro Street into a 243-room hotel called El Portal. 

—Quinn Donoghue 

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