Wednesday, June 19, 2024

Johnson & Wales to convert Charlotte hotel into student housing

Johnson & Wales University, which is famous for its culinary and hospitality curriculum, plans to convert a hotel it owns in downtown Charlotte into student housing, signaling its growth plans.

The DoubleTree by Hilton Charlotte Uptown on West Trade Street will operate through June and then house upperclassmen beginning with the fall semester this year.

The university’s strategic plan is to increase enrollment, and it wants to extend the campus footprint to create a more cohesive collegiate atmosphere for the Charlotte campus.

The hotel has 187 rooms. Johnson & Wales currently has 1,028 students on the Charlotte campus.

The university purchased DoubleTree by Hilton from Bank of America almost 20 years ago. The hotel is adjacent to large BofA office complex on the west side of Charlotte’s center city.

“We are excited for the hotel facility to formally be integrated into our campus footprint, providing a more recognizable and cohesive residential landscape for Johnson & Wales University,” said Richard Mathieu, president of the Charlotte campus, in a release. He joined the university in early 2023 from Charlotte’s Queens University, where he had led the business school.

A local architectural firm has been hired to transform the space into modern student housing with upscale amenities and to redesign the Academic Center Courtyard and Gateway Center promenade to create a focal point for the Charlotte campus.

Johnson & Wales will celebrate its 20th anniversary in Charlotte this year. The university, which also has a campus in Providence Rhode Island, will welcome a cohort of accelerated Bachelor of Science nursing students in May.

The university closed its Miami and Denver campuses in 2021. It integrated its Charleston, South Carolina and Norfolk, Virginia campuses into the Charlotte campus in 2003 and 2006, respectively.

Chris Roush
Chris Roush
Chris Roush is executive editor of Business North Carolina. He can be reached at

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