AMARILLO, TX (KFDA) - The 10 floors of the Barfield stand out as crews begin work on a multi-million dollar total renovation of the historic downtown building in Amarillo.
"We've been crying for that building to become something for a long time,” said Dan Quandt, Vice President of the Amarillo Convention and Visitor Council. “It sadly went from a proud lady to kind of an eye sore and now they're going to be redoing that."
As downtown Amarillo continues to revitalize and preserve its historic properties, the same goes for the restoration being done to the Barfield, as it’s transformed into the Barfield Marriott, a part of the hospitality chain’s boutique Autograph Collection hotels.
“They are getting historic tax credits so they’re going to do it correctly,” said Quandt. “You can’t just take out a broken window and put in another window. It has to be a historic window. It has to be the same kind of thing so the restoration maybe takes a little longer but it’s going to show in the process, very similar to what we’ve had with the Courtyard.”
With other downtown hotels like the Courtyard Marriott and Embassy Suites in business, Quandt doesn't think the new property will take away business from the other locations but will instead, bring in a whole new clientele, helping our area economy.
“The clientele that we expect to be attracted to the Barfield are going to be people probably with a little higher disposable income so they will want to invest more, maybe more in our arts,” said Quandt. “So I think you're going to see the continuance of the vibrancy we're seeing now in downtown."
Coury Hospitality, based in Kansas City, is the hotel management partner of the renovation, a company that specializes in transforming historic buildings into hotels. For the newest downtown project expected to bring 109 rooms to Polk and 6th, the effort to preserve history makes it all the more special.
"Our society has become a place where we don't want to tear down, we want to create, we want to preserve and I guess that's the most exciting thing about the Barfield project is that they're doing it to preserve history and promote history, not destroy history,” said Quandt.
The Amarillo Convention and Visitor Council estimates the hotel to be completed by late 2019.