A drawing of what the vacant Washington Education Center in Pittsburgh’s Lawrenceville neighborhood will look like when it opens next year as a 109-room Tryp by Wyndham. The franchiser is working to significantly expand the upper-midscale lifestyle brand in the U.S. over the next few years.

A PITTSBURGH-BASED commercial real estate company has begun to transform a neighborhood school building into an urban lifestyle hotel.

Century Hospitality, a division of The Century Group, is converting a former vocational school into a Tryp by Wyndham in the city’s Lawrenceville community.

The 108-room upper-midscale hotel is expected to open early next year.

Money magazine has deemed Lawrenceville “America’s Coolest Neighborhood” because of its art, culture and food scene, which includes a network of local breweries.

Century Hospitality, led by Todd M. Schirtzinger, chief financial officer of The Century Group, has other Wyndham Hotel Group hotels in Pennsylvania, West Virginia and Ohio, including Hawthorn Suites properties, Microtel Inns and a Super 8.

Desmone Architects, also of Pittsburgh, is the project designer. Read its blog about lifestyle hotels here.

The Tryp by Wyndham Pittsburgh / Lawrenceville’s design will incorporate the work of local artists and designers. In addition to more than 2,000 square feet of meeting and event space, the hotel will feature a street-level restaurant and rooftop patio dining through collaborations with local chefs.

Josh Aderholt, principal at The Century Group, said “As long-time partners with Wyndham, we’ve been looking for the perfect opportunity to launch a lifestyle brand and knew that Tryp by Wyndham– backed by the support of a hospitality giant and our local expertise – would thrive among the distinct culture in Lawrenceville.”

Kate Ashton, brand senior vice president, said Wyndham selected the site “as the next stop for Tryp as we expand into up-and-coming destinations travelers want to uncover.”

There are 110 Tryp by Wyndham hotels in the world. The Pittsburgh site will be the fifth Tryp in the U.S. Wyndham Hotel Group expects to significantly grow the U.S. portfolio this year with openings in Long Island City, New York; El Paso, Texas; Macon, Georgia; Newark, New Jersey; and Fort Lauderdale, Miami, Coral Gables, Orlando, Kissimmee and Bay Harbor, all of Florida.

Century Group acquired the long-vacant Washington Education Center building in fall 2015 from developer Jay Thakkar of Emperor Hotels for $2.5 million. Thakkar reportedly bought the building in 2009 from the Pittsburgh Public School District. He had considered adapting the structure into a hotel, according to local news reports, but decided against it after the real estate crash. In 2014, Concord Hospitality reportedly considered renovating the structure into a hotel but decided against it because of the costs. The school was built in 1908 and held its last class in 2006.