The Kansas City Council approved rezoning for a 96-room hotel near the Country Club Plaza on Thursday, and its developer already is considering two other projects in the area.
The four-story SpringHill Suites Marriott will be along the south side of 45th Street between Belleview and Madison avenues. Construction could begin as early as this March, depending on the weather.
“We’d like to start as quickly as possible,” said Sanjay Patel of Indianapolis-based MHG Hotels.
Patel also is pursuing two other potential hotel projects in the Kansas City area but declined to reveal further details. He believes the hotel industry nationwide is in a growth phase to meet the pent-up demand caused by the recession of 2008 and slow economic recovery.
“The hotel industry the last two to three years has been on an upswing and we believe it will continue to 2023 or 2025,” Patel said. “The supply was reduced when lenders pulled back in 2008 and the demand is expected to continue.”
The new $11 million SpringHill Suites project is being built on a one-acre site straddled by the Southwest Trafficway relatively close to the Plaza and Westport. It will require the demolition of seven houses and a small building on the southeast corner of 45th and Belleview housing Tudor Wood Works.
Council approval was required for the necessary rezoning and the closing of an alley between Madison and Belleview. The developer did not seek any public incentives to assist the project.
The SpringHill Suites brand of Marriott includes an indoor pool and hot breakfast buffet as amenities, but no restaurants or bars. The entrance of the hotel will be on 45th Street, and the development will include a 62-space garage and 34-space surface parking lot.
This is the second new hotel in the works for the Plaza area. A boutique hotel, the 132-room Hotel Sorella, is scheduled to open next Wednesday as part of the Plaza Vista development at 48th and Belleview.
Hyatt had proposed a 225-room luxury hotel for the Plaza area last year but dropped that plan in face of opposition to proposed tax breaks.
Jon Stephens, interim president and chief executive of the Kansas City Convention & Visitors Association, welcomed the SpringHill Suites project and observed tourism is on the rise. A recent study prepared for the CVA indicated Kansas City had 22.3 million visitors last year, up 2.4 percent from the previous year.
“From a convention and tourism standpoint, there’s certainly a national and global trend of a rebound in travel, and we’re seeing it locally with our tourism numbers,” he said. “We certainly fell optimistic that trend will continue for additional tourism in Kansas City.”