Tyler’s historic Carlton hotel set to relaunch with new apartments and retail space


TYLER, Texas (KLTV) – A staple of Tyler’s skyline will soon be given new life as an apartment building with space for new business. A private New Orleans-based developer is teaming up with Tyler’s Architects to redevelop the old Carlton Hotel building into something Tyler and East Texas can be proud of.

A concept plan shows what the Carlton Hotel building might look like after its transformation.(Fitzpatrick Architects)

“We expect construction to begin next year,” said Brandy Ziegler of Fitzpatrick Architects.

Ziegler said that for years Fitzpatrick Architects have focused on revitalizing downtown Tyler. It’s an effort that really started for them with the transformation of the People’s Petroleum Building, and now they’re tackling another piece of the skyline: the old Carlton Hotel building.

The Carlton hotel featured bright colors and a vibrant rooftop pool at the same time.
The Carlton Hotel featured bright colors and a vibrant rooftop pool at the same time.(File photo)

“Right now we’re studying it like apartments,” Ziegler said. “And we’re looking at over 100 apartments in the building, which would mean 100 new apartments for downtown Tyler.”

A New Orleans-based real estate company, NORF Company, acquired the Old Carlton Hotel as part of its plan to redevelop historic buildings across the country. The Carlton operated as a hotel from 1954 to 1971. It remained vacant until Smith County bought it in 1977 and converted it into office space, including the sheriff’s office. The county stopped using the building in 2013 and eventually sold it.

“He’s tired and in need of repair,” Ziegler said. “And in most cases, most of the building elements that have been constructed over time are not historic. “

But Ziegler said some features are historic, like the grand staircase and the pool above the parking lot.

“We plan to keep the pool,” she said. “And the developer is looking at the potential units on this floor, whether it’s units you rent or more than one type of Airbnb unit, but five or six units on that full cabin level.”

Among the ideas they have to give new life to the old building: a roof terrace and open the ground floor section to what could be space for a bar or a business.

A conceptual rendering of what the Carlton Hotel could one day look like.  This image shows a ...
A conceptual rendering of what the Carlton Hotel could one day look like. This image shows a potential rooftop terrace.(Fitzpatrick Architects)

“The sky is really the limit,” Ziegler said of the open space at street level.

For those who are skeptical of how the project will unfold, Ziegler said this time around was different from previous plans. She said more progress is being made than ever before.

“We’ve already seen five or six milestones that we’ve been waiting for years with previous developers,” she said.

They expect construction to begin in the spring of 2022, and the building could open in 2023. The total investment for the project is expected to be nearly $ 30 million. No word on the rent expected for the apartments.

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