COLUMBUS, Ohio (WCMH) – The Franklinton neighborhood is about to get a new hotel with a slew of amenities even for those who don’t need a room.

NBC4 toured the Junto as construction crews bustled through its unfinished corridors. Rockbridge, the company behind the hotel, is working to meet a projected opening date in May, which will bring several vendors to Franklinton as well:

  • Little West Tavern, a restaurant
  • Brass Eye, a rooftop bar
  • Maudine’s, a coffee shop themed after the cow named Ohio State’s 1926 homecoming queen
(Courtesy Photo/Rochelle Young)

Rockbridge CEO Jimmy Merkel called the Junto an “independent lifestyle hotel,” which he said allowed it to be designed in a more customized fashion.

“You don’t have a national brand to tell you what to do, you are designing it for the community, and for the city,” Merkel said. “These hotels have popped up all over the country because they’re representative of the local community.”

Merkel added that the customized hotel has landed some prime real estate as the plan came to life.

“The best part is that the city had 20 acres in downtown along the riverfront, which is super rare,” Merkel said. “The planning … was decades in the making, and so we’re just really fortunate to be the hospitality partner here.”

The building crews are currently handling tasks including installing electrical fixtures above elevator doors, painting the rooftop balcony, and preparing the materials that will furnish the structure.

With a framework laid throughout the Junto, the general aesthetic of the hotel is slowly taking shape. Representatives for the hotel showed NBC4 one of its finished rooms awaiting furniture, as well as a second-story patio that overlooks COSI. In total, the hotel will be able to book guests to 198 different rooms inside.

“It’s like coming home,” Merkel said. “We have a lobby that we call the ‘Trade Room,’ that will have a fireplace, an intimate bar, a library. [They are] places for people to meet and gather.”

The patio is just one outdoor view the Junto has available. Climbing to the rooftop revealed a view of the city skyline in one direction, and in the other, a full business district developing within Franklinton.

“We want companies in Columbus to use this hotel and the Junto as their base to attract and celebrate Columbus, and attract companies and recruits,” Merkel said.

Alongside the three anchor businesses and Rockbridge’s hope for other companies to work with the hotel, the Junto also has several job openings available. To apply, visit the Junto’s page for its career listings.