The Westin planned for former BlueCross headquarters in downtown Chattanooga

The Westin planned for former BlueCross headquarters in downtown Chattanooga

February 20th, 2012 by Ellis Smith and Dave Flessner in Local - Breaking News

File photo of the old BlueCross BlueShield building at 801 Pine Street. The golden glass structure opened for business in 1970.

The former BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee headquarters in downtown Chattanooga could house a Westin Hotel and Resort by the spring of 2013, according to the website for Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Inc.

The hotel chain said The Westin will open May 1, 2013, at 801 Pine St., the site of the Gold Building erected for BlueCross in 1970 by Atlanta architect John Portman.

Developer Ken DeFoor bought the 180,000-square-foot building in December 2010 for $6.15 million and said last year he was looking at spending at least $10 million to renovate the gold-tinted tower into a 200-room hotel.

"There's nothing I can say on that right now," DeFoor said today. "We can't promise anything, it's still down the road. We're working on that."

BlueCross vacated building after the health insurer built a new corporate campus atop Cameron Hill.

On its website, Starwood Hotels indicates two new hotels are planned for Chattanooga next year. The Four Points by Sheraton at Hamilton Place will open in March 2013 at 2345 Shallowford Village Drive. The Westin Chattanooga is due to open two months later. The company's website said the hotels are not bookable yet and said that "details (are) to be announced" about The Westin.

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