The Evansville Redevelopment Commission held a meeting Wednesday morning to go over the plans for development of the new Downtown Convention Hotel.
The ERC is considering taking action on the Downtown Convention Hotel pre-development agreement with HCW.
Approval of the pre-development agreement will initiate key elements of work to move the convention hotel project forward. Architectural work: schematic designs, site plans, floor plans, geotechnical work, soil testing and traffic studies are set to begin immediately after approval of the pre-development agreement.
Hotel developer HCW' s CEO presented the current hotel plans to the ERC. The CEO says at this point the hotel being planned will be a 253 room, 12 story full-service hotel.
A 330 space parking garage was also proposed, along with retail space for restaurants and small shops. A spa is in the plans for hotel as well.
The HCW CEO says the goal is to start construction by early fall and says the hotel itself, as proposed, would create about 250 jobs and around 320-330 with the retail jobs. HCW says that around 95% of those employees will be from the Tri-State area. The HCW CEO said the jobs will pay about $9 an hour and up.
HCW says the anticipated cost of hotel project is $70 million with a public contribution of $37.5M and a $32.5 million contribution from HCW.
An attorney for ERC says the City of Evansville anticipated investment in hotel would not exceed $20 million, saying the rest of that $37.5 million would go toward retail, parking, etc.
CVB Exec. Dir. Bob Warren spoke at the meeting and told the ERC that the Evansville market is currently losing around $13 to $14 million annually in convention market right now and encouraged the ERC to move forward with the hotel development.
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