The present 200-room building on the site is in the process of being torn down.
“If you had an opportunity to go by there it looks like a bombed-out building in Beirut about 30 years ago,” City Administrator William Charnisky told the city’s Board of Aldermen at its Oct. 23 meeting.
Charnisky said the demolition is expected to be complete by the end of December with construction of a 125-room Courtyard by Marriott expected to begin early next year.
Construction is expected to take about a year, with Charnisky saying he hoped the hotel doors could be open by December 2015. Property adjacent to the hotel site also has been purchased and is available for a restaurant, Charnisky said.
The hotel, which was most recently a Garden Plaza Hotel, has been a popular destination in the past.
In 2008, when it was a Holiday Inn Select, the hotel owner lost his affiliation with Holiday Inn and city officials said vacancy rates at the hotel increased.
Plans for the hotel go back several years. In 2013, Midas Investment, LLC, a St. Louis-based firm, announced plans to develop the Courtyard by Marriott. In July of that year, the board issued a special use permit for the project.
According to the Midas website, the $14.6 million, 4-story project will include 125 rooms, 5,000 square feet of meeting space, a bistro, fitness center and indoor pool as well as “an independent, third party, national franchise restaurant.”
A hotel has operated at the location for the past 30 years.