The Elyton Hotel (originally to be called the Empire Hotel) is a 117-room boutique hotel opened in Summer 2017 in the historic Empire Building at 1928 1st Avenue North. It is operated as part of Marriott Hotels' "Autograph Collection", and in tandem with the Fairfield Inn in the former Alagasco Building adjoining it.
In 2012 investor John Tampa of Georgia-based Ascent Hospitality purchased the mostly-vacant former office building, with the intent of redeveloping it as a hotel. Financing opportunities instead led him to propose low-income apartments for the property, but those plans also stalled.
In November 2014 the website of New Orleans, Louisiana architects John T. Campo & Associates, suggested that the building would be converted into a Marriott Autograph Hotel. That suggestion was confirmed in April 2015 with Ascent's announcement of a $45 million project to develop a luxury hotel in the Empire Building and a 120-room limited-service hotel in the nearby Alagasco Building. A small building which had formerly housed a Junior League Thrift Shop at 1916 1st Avenue North was demolished as part of the project.
The hotel is joined by a full-service restaurant, The Yard, at ground level and a tapas bar, Moon Shine on the roof terrace. The change in name from "Empire Hotel" to "Elyton Hotel" was announced in May 2017.
- Poe, Kelly (November 21, 2014) "Marriott could be coming to downtown Birmingham." The Birmingham News
- Poe, Kelly (April 20, 2016) "Empire Hotel developer to demolish old Junior League building." The Birmingham News
- Godwin, Brent (January 19, 2016) "Empire Hotel eyes spring opening, will include restaurant led by prominent chef." Birmingham Business Journal
- Godwin, Brent (May 4, 2017) "New downtown hotel named to honor Birmingham's early history." Birmingham Business Journal