A Kansas City Council committee gave the green light Wednesday to a $25 million hotel project that would be built without incentives next to the downtown streetcar route. The full council votes Thursday.
The Planning, Zoning and Economic Development Committee endorsed the development plan for a 132-unit Hampton Inn & Suites at 16th and Main streets.
“We’re constantly looking for cities where they are revitalizing,” Leif Busby, with Windsor Aughtry Hotel Group of Greenville, S.C., told the committee.
He said Kansas City came to the group’s attention when it won a national Google Fiber competition in 2011 that Greenville had also been seeking. Downtown’s “gentrification” is impressive, he said, and Kansas City is gaining a national reputation as “a great town.”
The seven-story hotel would replace what’s now a surface parking lot at the northeast corner of 16th and Main and fits with the city’s goal of substituting surface lots with a more dense construction.
It would be just a few blocks from a proposed 800-room convention center hotel, and Busby said his group actually sees that new Hyatt hotel as a plus for his project, because it could bring more and bigger conventions to town. Hampton Inn & Suites caters primarily to business travelers but also aims to serve families and leisure travelers.
The project does face a bit of a complication, according to Leonard Graham of Kansas City’s Taliaferro & Browne engineering firm. The developers want to bury nearby above-ground electrical lines in an adjacent alleyway. Graham said they would also improve that alleyway, but Kansas City Power & Light Co. has yet to approve the electrical line burial, so that still needs to be resolved.
If the council approves, and the electrical issues are solved, the developer hopes to start construction this fall, with completion 16 to 18 months later.