New EVEN Hotel Chain Eyeing Downtown Jax?

November 21, 2014 10 comments Open printer friendly version of this article Print Article

With the Downtown Investment Authority agreeing to an incentives package for a $23 million hotel at the intersection of Magnolia and Forest Streets, Jacksonville could be in line to land Florida's first EVEN Hotel. Sounds great, but what is this hotel chain all about? Today, Metro Jacksonville takes a look.

EVEN Hotels is a health and fitness-oriented hotel brand launced by InterContinental Hotels Group (IGH) in 2012. According to Kirk Kinsell, president of the Americas for IHG, during a USA Today interview, "We know that for the traveling public, the ability to maintain their health routine while on the road is becoming more and more important and EVEN Hotels provides the tools and encouragement to make healthier choices while on the road at an approachable price point."

With an agressive plan to open 100 hotels in five years, the first EVEN Hotel opened this June in Norwalk, CT. A second recently opened in Rockville, MD. In 2015, three additional EVEN Hotels are expected to open in NYC's Garment District, Brooklyn and a site near to Grand Central Station.

EVEN differs from the typical hotel in several ways. There's a "Well-come" center, where guests check in after being given a glass of filtered water and a cool, scented hand towel to wash away all the stress, as opposed to a front desk. Walls throughout the hotel complex are also littered with encouraging words, such as "Don't think of them as stairs; they're little hurdles."

Amenities include an Athletic Studio featuring yoga and spinning classes and rooms designed for working, sleeping and exercising. Then there's the Cork & Kale Market and Bar for those looking to grab a bite to eat within a casual healthy setting.

What will guests find?

Guest rooms will be designed for in-room workouts with multi-functional room amenities (e.g. coat rack that doubles as pull-up bars); a best-in-class gym with equipment and group exercise activities; a “Wellness Wall” resource for fitness tips, walking distances, and equipment rentals; and personalized guest services offering advice on fitness options.

Rooms will feature tech amenities such as high speed Wi-Fi, multimedia ports, easy access to outlets, and ample desk space. Additionally, there will be social areas in the bar and lobby. Rooms will also feature green and allergy-friendly amenities, including: hypoallergenic linens, powerful showerheads, natural lighting, LED dimmers, and antibacterial wipes.
Nutritionally designed menus will offer a particular focus on natural, fresh, fit, and energizing meals. In an open-air café and bar, guests can enjoy complimentary coffee, mini-smoothies, and flavored, filtered water with glass bottles available to fill up and take back to their rooms.

According to a recent Jacksonville Business Journal article, negotiations are still ongoing between EVEN and Parkview Partners LLC. If a deal is signed, the hotel would include 150 rooms, create 15-20 permanent jobs, and introduce a new infill concept into the heart of rapidly gentrifying Brooklyn.

Article by Ennis Davis, AICP. Contact Ennis at