The Virginian is the long-closed hotel casino located on Virginia Street just north of City Hall and First Street, on the east side of Virginia Street. On the same day I was checking out Ross Apartments and the Shelter, Downtownmakeover fan Matt Orchowski went on a tour of the Virginian, snapped some photos, and learned some surprising facts about the building and clues to its future.

Did you know the Virginian has four levels of parking, yet no ramps to access them? The building was outfitted in the '90s, for whatever reason, with a state-of-the-art car lift that accesses the four levels of above-grade parking. Sweet! Reminds me of that scene in Mission Impossible 4, or maybe 5, whatever one where Tom Cruise was dodging falling cars in a massive state-of-the-art parking garage.

Matt also discovered that the entire 16th floor is comprised of suites with full kitchens. Yay! Ay least one floor will be able to cook full meals. Also, Siegel is still finalizing plans for the building, according to Matt, who grilled them  for info. They're "toying" with the idea of converting the remaining hotel floors below floor 16 into that same type of floor plan with full kitchens. The facility manager Matt toured with said it would be pretty easy to do as none of the inner walls are load baring. Yes, please please please do this.

So what do they plan to do with the rooms? According to what Matt was told, they are thinking higher-end residential that would still follow a "flexible" stay type model. But not low end.  The facility manager mentioned a law firm needing a nice place for a an example, for a client from out of town. Some examples that follow this model include Marriott Townplace Suites, Choice Hotels' Mainstay Suites, and on the less hotel-oriented side, Franklin Residences in Philadelphia, and Crestwood Suites.

In any case, I'm super glad this is the direction Siegel is leaning toward with the Virginian downtown.

So what about the casino and food venues? The primary restaurant is/was located on the third floor, and according to Matt, appears as if it was closed down yesterday, even though the restaurant has been empty for over a decade. Glasses, pots, pans and utensils all stacked up as if they are ready for the next shift. The restaurant venue, as you can see in this previous post about their commercial spaces appearing on Loopnet, has a fully equipped turnkey kitchen.

They also plan to remove the large exterior 'Virginian' sign scaling the tower.

Check out Matt's photos below. I eagerly await the reveal of their plans...hopefully soon!