CGI Merchant Group Invests $30M to Develop New Hotel, Training Center at Morris Brown College in Atlanta
ATLANTA — CGI Merchant Group LLC (CGI), a global investment management firm, will invest $30 million to convert existing facilities at Morris Brown College in Atlanta into an upscale, 150-room hotel and hospitality management training complex. Construction of the 90,000-square-foot facility is expected to begin later this year. The investment was made through CGI’s new $650 million Hospitality Opportunity Fund, whose goal is to acquire 20 hotels in North America and the Caribbean over the next three years.
Morris Brown was founded in 1881 and is the first college in Georgia to be owned and operated by African Americans. The college is located within a one-mile radius from other Historically Black College and Universities (HBCU) Morehouse College, Spelman College and Clark Atlanta University. The campus sits next to Mercedes Benz Stadium, home arena of the Atlanta Falcons and Atlanta United.
The hotel, which will be branded under the Tapestry Collection by Hilton, will feature two food and beverage outlets, an outdoor terrace and instructional space for the school’s hospitality students. With this investment, Morris Brown is the only HBCU nationwide with both a flagged hotel and a hospitality management training program on its campus.
Hilton Worldwide Holdings Inc. will serve in an advisory capacity for Morris Brown’s hospitality management program, providing guidance on the curriculum. The global hotelier also plans to contribute to guest lecturers and facilitate job shadowing at local Hilton properties for Morris Brown students.
The project development team features Georgia’s C. D. Moody Construction, a Black-owned construction company, and Chasm Architecture, a full-service design firm based in Atlanta.