Upscale apartments, wood-fired restaurant coming to downtown Albemarle

Renovations are still ongoing on the Albemarle Hotel, the nearly 100-year-old building that will soon be transformed into The Residences at the Albemarle Hotel. It will feature 29 rental apartments, ranging from 500 to 1,400 square feet, along with a full-scale restaurant on the first floor.

The seven one-bedroom units on the fourth floor are largely complete, aside from a few punch list items, such as door knobs, that still need to be installed, according to developer Jordan Jones during a recent site visit of the property.

Aside from the fourth floor units, there will be seven one-bedroom units on the third floor, six one-bedroom units on the second floor, two two-bedroom units and one three-bedroom unit on the first floor and three one-bedroom units and three two-bedroom units on the ground floor. Each unit will have its own HVAC and washer and dryer.

The units on the second and third floors are currently being renovated. Jordan, 37, plans to have the renovations fully wrapped up within 75 days. The smallest one-bedroom unit is 500 square feet while the three-bedroom unit is 1,630 square feet.

“It’s nothing but a labor of love,” Jones said about refurbishing the old hotel.

One of the bathrooms on the fourth floor. Photo courtesy of Jordan Jones.

A kitchen space on the fourth floor. Photo courtesy of Jordan Jones.

Jones and his Durham-based company Anchor & Pillar purchased the facility in December 2017. Renovations began in the spring of 2021.

Though he did not grow up in the county, Jones has a special connection to Stanly, as his mother’s family is from Badin. He has fond memories of visiting downtown Albemarle as a kid, where the old hotel always stood out to him.

“It’s always a community I’ve had an interest in working in,” Jones said during an interview with The Stanly News & Press last year. “Albemarle has been on my radar and is a place I’m very exciting about investing in.”

The renovation of the Albemarle Hotel is estimated to cost close to $9 million through a combination of private investments and historic tax credit investors.

The property manager is still working on finalizing the prices for each unit, though Jordan said he expects the units will begin at around $1,000 a month, which will include utilities such as sewer, water and electric.

Pre-leasing has started, Jones said, and he hopes to have people move into the property by mid-December. He’s received about 260 emails from interested applicants over the past 12-16 months, about 15 percent he estimates have come from Pfeiffer University students working in downtown Albemarle.

The upscale apartments will feature a variety of design elements including historically restored windows, which provide expansive views of the downtown, granite countertops and kitchen backsplashes. There will also be many conveniences such as a fitness center, key-less entry, high-speed internet and a secure package management room, where people can pick up what’s been delivered to them.

For individuals interested in the units, they can contact Stanly4Rent at info@stanly4rent.com or 704-983-2149.

A new restaurant 

Tenants living in the complex will not have to go far to eat as Christine’s Wood Fire will be located on the first floor, where the old fireplace used to be.

A wood-fired oven has been purchased from Italy for the restaurant, which will feature items ranging from handcrafted pizzas to a variety of steaks and seafood, said owner Ryan Bybee. He is already sourcing ingredients for the menu.

The restaurant will be opening sometime in early 2023, said Bybee, who’s from Cabarrus County but has Stanly connections. Through his Scratch Made Hospitality Group, he operates several restaurants in the area, including Village Corner in Concord and Barcos Food Company in Oriental. He also has an ice cream shop, Churn Buddies, in Concord.

He is planning to open two additional restaurants, Kuni’s Kitchen and Barcos Sports & Raw Bar, inside Gibson Mill in Concord.

The restaurant is named after his late grandmother, Christine Thomas Barnhardt, who is from Stanly. He still has several family members in the county.

Bybee was introduced to Jones through a relative, Eddie Shimpock, who was an investor in the project.

“I think the building is incredible,” Bybee said. “It’s in such a cool spot.”

There will be about 120 seats, including space in the former ballroom that will be for private dining and special events, like rehearsal dinners. There will also be a full bar, with tabled seating.

Bybee wants Christine’s to be a place where people can be comfortable, no matter the setting.

“We want people to feel like they can come to celebrate really important anniversaries and milestones in life, but they can also come on a Tuesday night and sit back and enjoy a comfortable evening,” Bybee said.

With his casual restaurant concept, he hopes to fill a niche within the city, especially the downtown area, “and I feel like there’s a spot for that here.”