HIGH POINT, N.C. (WGHP) — A 183,000 square foot building considered an icon in downtown High Point is being transformed.

The old Red Lion Hotel is expected to become a major draw in the city. The hotel closed in June of 2020 and left furniture market patrons and High Point visitors without that iconic place to stay.

“We have a lot of designers who come in here at off-market times. We have youth and amateur sports, so we have felt the void of not having the 252 room, former Red Lion Hotel,” said Melody Burnett, president of Visit High Point.

Without those rooms, people who attend the furniture market are pushed to other areas of the Triad for accommodations.

“It would be very convenient. It’s so extremely efficient to go down your stairs and be at the center of everything,” said Marie Gabrielle Devimal, a furniture market patron.

Guests who would take advantage of the rooms shared what they would like to see with the makeover.

“The one thing anyone in our industry will look at is the furnishings. This is the business that we’re in, so it would be so wonderful to have a hotel that represents that,” said Beth Jons, a furniture market patron.

According to Simon Burgess, a partner with Revive Living Developments LLC, areas on the first floor will be devoted to showrooms.

131 rooms will be for short-term stays, and 65 will turn into extended-stay units.

It’s something Burnett believes will help the furniture market evolve into a year-round destination for designers.

“It’s perfect timing because as we are developing our urban core, that hotel has a lot of advantages being centered right there on Main Street,” Burnett said.

Developers are pushing to have the first portion of the building done by October and the second complete in April of next year.

They would like to start construction next month.