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BizSense Beat: March 8, 2024

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BizSense Beat is a weekly collaboration between VPM News and Richmond BizSense that brings you the top business stories during NPR's Morning Edition on Fridays.

Here’s a recap of the top stories for the week of March 8, 2024:

Shamin to build 12-story hotel on former Hardee’s site on Arthur Ashe Blvd.
Reported by Richmond Bizsense’s Mike Platania

Where biscuits once rose for decades, a new hotel is set to rise much, much higher.

Shamin Hotels, one of the region’s largest hoteliers, is planning a 12-story, 299-room hotel on the site of the longtime Hardee’s restaurant at 921 Myers St.

The new, 257,000-square-foot structure would carry two Marriott brands: Residence Inn and AC Hotels. The latter is one of Marriott’s “Select” brands and originated in Spain. Shamin CEO Neil Amin said AC Hotels have many European-inspired design elements.

There are nearly 250 AC Hotels worldwide and Shamin’s would be the first in Virginia.

Old Hotel Jefferson building in Petersburg undergoing $2M mixed-use conversion
Reported by Richmond Bizsense’s Jonathan Spiers

As work to restore the old Hotel Petersburg hits the homestretch a couple blocks away, a mixed-use conversion of another former hotel building in the city’s Old Towne district is likewise set to wrap up in coming months.

The $2 million conversion of the old Hotel Jefferson building at 408 N. Sycamore St. into 24 apartments and three commercial storefronts is a few months away from completion, according to developer Richard Cuthbert.

Cuthbert’s Sycamore Street Properties has finished the storefronts, two of which are spoken for, and he said the apartments will open up a new rental market for him, with the smallest units – starting at 300 square feet in size – marketed as so-called micro-apartments.

Downtown studio amps up with high-tech upgrade
Reported by Richmond Bizsense’s Jonathan Spiers

Know that surround-sound promo before the movies in certain theaters with that voice that whispers, “All…around…you”? Now, a Richmond recording studio is able to say the same thing.

Red Amp Audio has equipped its Grace Street facility with Dolby Atmos recording and audio mixing technology, making it the first commercial sound studio in Virginia to be Dolby-certified as an Atmos-capable studio.

Dolby Atmos is the latest surround-sound technology that goes beyond the five- and seven-speaker placements of Dolby Digital 5.1 and Dolby Surround 7.1 to include additional channels and spatial sound capabilities to create a more immersive sound experience.

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