Downtown Hotel Trio Takes Shape
Will DNC postponement allow hotels to open in time?
Hotel developer JR Hospitality, in partnership with Hawkeye Hotels, is working to open three hotels with 331 rooms planned between them. The partners had originally hoped to open the hotels in time for the DNC’s original July run, but encountered delays with preparing the site.
Will delaying the Democratic National Convention until August allow the downtown hotels to be completed in time?
The firms intend to develop and operate Holiday Inn Express (116 guest rooms), Home2 Suites by Hilton (115 guest rooms) and Tru by Hilton (100 guest rooms) hotels at the southwest corner of E. Michigan St. and N. Jefferson St.
Stevens Construction is leading the general contracting on both buildings. Construction on the southernmost building, to be used by the two Hilton properties, is further along and a crew could be spotted Friday evening working on the courtyard entrance.
An affiliate of the two firms, Hop City Lodging LLC, purchased the three parcels at 433 E. Michigan St., 501 N. Jefferson St. and 517 N. Jefferson St. in August 2018 from Johnson Controls for $5.15 million. A heavily-altered office building, built in 1909 according to city records, was demolished to create the northern site. The two southern properties contained a 62-stall surface parking lot and 10,760-square-foot building from 1970, both of which are now gone.
Matching the Hop City name, two stations on The Hop’s planned lakefront streetcar line sit ready and waiting a block from the development site. They’re scheduled to go into service by the end of 2020 once they’re connected via a station in the base of The Couture, or maybe not. The city continues to delay the streetcar project as long as possible to allow The Couture’s developers to secure financing for the apartment tower.
Since construction started another amenity has been announced near the hotels. Central Standard Craft Distillery is buying the long-vacant building a block west with the intent to open a tasting room this summer. Another block further west the Huron Building continues to rise. And on the other side of Interstate 794 a new apartment building is being constructed.
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