Mayor Tom Henry today announced plans to bring a 125-room Hampton Inn & Suites hotel to downtown Fort Wayne. The hotel would be located across West Jefferson Boulevard from the Grand Wayne Center and next to the Courtyard Fort Wayne Downtown; it could open as soon as summer 2019.
The Fort Wayne Redevelopment Commission will consider a proposal for the new hotel today at its 4 p.m. meeting in the Garden Level of Citizens Square, 200 E. Berry St. The Fort Wayne-Allen County Capital Improvement Board will consider support for the hotel at its meeting on Thursday, September 28 at 7:30 a.m. in the Grand Wayne Center, 120 W. Jefferson Blvd.
“An additional hotel for downtown is another indication that Fort Wayne is a point of destination for businesses and visitors,” said Mayor Henry. “Having more hotel capacity will enhance opportunities for the Grand Wayne Center and assist us in our efforts to continue to experience growth and momentum in our community.”
The project’s cost is estimated at approximately $20 million; it would be a 125-room hotel designed to support the Grand Wayne Center and its growing convention business as well as business and leisure travelers looking to be close to downtown amenities.
The Hampton Inn & Suites would be developed and operated by White Lodging Services Corporation, the same developer that constructed Harrison Square’s 250-room Courtyard by Marriott. The Courtyard opened in the fall of 2010 and at the time, plans called for a second hotel when the need was demonstrated.
“The City approached us with a vision for Harrison Square back in 2007 and has more than delivered on its commitment,” said Deno Yiankes, President & CEO of White Lodging’s Investment & Development division. “We are thrilled to once again team with the City in bringing another premium-branded hotel to the downtown market.”
A 2014 Grand Wayne Convention Center Strategic Analysis conducted by Hunden Partners showed a “critical” need for more downtown hotel rooms. The report states that the downtown Courtyard and Hilton together have fewer than 500 rooms and “this hinders the convention center’s ability to attract citywide events that draw more than 800 or 1,000 attendees.” The report goes on to say that the addition of up to 300 downtown hotel rooms would meet previously unaccommodated demand and “this would benefit the city and the Grand Wayne Convention Center, continuing to enhance the downtown hospitality package.”
During its meeting, the Fort Wayne Redevelopment Commission will consider conveying the land and investing $500,000 in Tax Increment Financing in the new hotel. The Commission would also be responsible for construction of a covered walkway from the hotel to the parking garage; costs of the walkway have not been determined but are expected to be less than $250,000.
The Capital Improvement Board will consider a proposal to commit up to $1.298 million to the hotel development.