Final deal announced for hotel in downtown Evansville - 14 News, WFIE, Evansville, Henderson, Owensboro

Final deal announced for hotel in downtown Evansville

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Groundbreaking on a new downtown convention hotel in Evansville could be just months away.

A development agreement has been announced to built it next to the Ford Center. 

City officials met with developer HCW just a few weeks ago to iron out the final details of this agreement, and on Monday, that plan moves on to the redevelopment commission, city council for final approval. 

253 rooms will span this 12-story Hilton Double-Tree. City officials say hotel will breathe new life into The Centre and the businesses that are trying to sustain themselves in the downtown area. 

"I'm a firm believer that we have to continue to upgrade and improve our downtown areas. It's the heart of the city. It's the heart of the county," Evansville City Councilman Dan McGinn said. 

Several groups must approve the development agreement and the mayor is putting the approval on the fast track. 

The redevelopment commission will hold a special meeting on Thursday to approve the agreement. The developer will then make a public presentation on the hotel deal at next Monday's city council meeting.

The Convention and Visitor's Bureau will hear a presentation and request for funding the following day, followed by approval from the county commissioners office. 

City council is expected to vote to approve the deal at their regular meeting just three weeks from Monday. 

"I can't speak for other council members, but I am prepared for us to bring this forward at our next city council meeting and take the vote at the end of this month. We've got to get this project going," Evansville City Councilwoman Missy Mosby said. 

Officials say the hotel will foster an increased number of visitors to conventions and events, but will also enable the possibility for additional infrastructure. Officials are vying for the IU Medical School Campus. 

"Anytime you have a university campus in your community that typically supports a convention center and activities related to a convention center," said Bob Warren with the Convention and Visitor's Bureau. 

"I'll do anything and everything I can to get that med center, too," McGinn said.

Councilman and Finance Chairman John Friend says the 2012 audit hasn't begun yet and three weeks is just too soon. He says he's not in opposition of the hotel, he just wants more time to make sure the financing is available.

The total cost of the hotel project is about $74 million. City will be responsible for $37.5 million.

250 permanent jobs will be created as result of the hotel project. 831 more jobs will be created during construction.

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