The lounge at the AC Hotel Downtown Dallas.

DOWNTOWN DALLAS HAS its first dual-branded hotel with the opening this week of a 128-room AC Hotel by Marriott and a 121-room Residence Inn by Marriott.

The property is owned and managed by NewcrestImage. It is the first AC Hotel in Texas and the first AC Hotel anywhere that brings together two Marriott brands.

NewcrestImage has “dramatically renovated and given vibrant new life” to the historic Mercantile Commerce Building, which originally opened in 1956, said Mehul Patel, chairman of NewcrestImage. The building had been vacant for 25 years. “By moving from retired to relevant, this building will add significant momentum to the revitalization of downtown Dallas,” Patel said.

The reimagined property features the AC Hotel lobby and lounge on the first floor, with guest rooms on floors three through 10, while the Residence Inn lobby is on the second floor, with guest rooms on floors 11 through 21.

The lobby at the Residence Inn Downtown Dallas.

Each hotel is highlighted by distinctive, customized interior design and furnishings that appeal to its specialized market segment – select service for AC and extended stay for Residence.

The AC Hotel, for example, is inspired by clean, modern European style such as guest rooms with “floating” furniture and public space with terrazzo floors, travertine walls, and commissioned artwork from around the world.

In contrast, the Residence Inn brings together international flair with southern charm, and spotlights various Dallas signature landmarks. For example, décor elements include headboards that mimic the stitching in cowboy boots; lighting fixtures that depict the city skyline; and a commissioned art collection created by local artists.

The front desk at the AC Hotel is separate from the front desk of the Residence Inn in the same building.

The hotels have separate lobbies, lounges, dining areas and business centers, while sharing a bar, fitness center and back-of-the-house space.  The properties also share the same management, sales and housekeeping teams, led by General Manager Kellie Adams, a 21-year veteran of the hospitality industry.

The Residence Inn front desk is on the second floor of the building.

A 10-floor parking garage, which is scheduled to open in 2018 behind the building, will include an indoor swimming pool to serve the two new hotels as well as NewcrestImage’s Hampton Inn & Suites next door.

The 176-room Hampton opened in July 2016 as an adaptive reuse of the 18-floor former Allen Building, built in 1923.  That hotel became the largest Hampton in Dallas and the first Hampton in downtown Dallas in more than 12 years.

NewcrestImage has a history of “firsts” with its projects. In November 2014, the company opened the first AC Hotel in North America, renovating the former New Orleans Cotton Exchange into a 220-room property in the city’s French Quarter.

In December 2013, NewcrestImage opened the first dual-branded hotel in the Dallas-Fort Worth metroplex with a property featuring two Marriott brands – a 181-room Courtyard and a 120-suite TownePlace Suites – in Grapevine, about two miles from DFW International Airport.

NewcrestImage, based in the Dallas suburb of Lewisville, owns and operates a portfolio of 23 hotels, with another 10 properties under construction or in development, including historic sites in Cincinnati, New Orleans and Houston. The company has three divisions: real estate, construction and hotel management.