New 12-Story Hotel Planned for Nationwide Boulevard
Local hotel management company Indus Hotels already operates the 179-room Hampton Inn & Suites next door to the Columbus Convention Center, and they’re hoping to double-down in that immediate market. Representatives from the company are scheduled to present a proposal to the Downtown Commission later this month that would see the construction of a new 12-story 170-room Hilton Garden Inn at 77 E. Nationwide Blvd.
The existing two-story building at 77 E. Nationwide Blvd is currently home to the Downtown offices of HER Realtors. That block of Nationwide Boulevard could be referred to as a “hotel row” for the Convention Center, as it already boasts a Crowne Plaza, The Lofts, Drury Inn & Suites and a Hyatt Regency.
Daniel Thomas, who is the Urban Design Manager that staffs the Downtown Commission says that the demolition of the historic two-story building isn’t likely to be a problem.
“I can’t speak for the Commission, but typically when they’ve spoken about demolition, they want to see something more substantial replacing the older building,” he says. “It’s not a bad building, but the tradeoff is that we’d be getting a 12 story hotel.”
Thomas says that Indus has not yet submitted elevations or perspective renderings of the project yet, and is expecting those sometime soon. He said that based on the site plan that was submitted to the commission, there may be concerns with the building process review due to ADA access requirements and the sloped terrain of the property.
“There are some also some issues regarding public service and recreation,” he adds. “They just put a few million dollars into East Nationwide Boulevard with new sidewalks and medians and trees and this might affect that.”
The announcement comes hot on the heels of the grand opening of the Le Mérdien The Joseph hotel, which is slated to open next Tuesday. Work has also recently begun on the opposite end of the Convention Center where a new parking garage will replace a surface parking lot.
When we reached out to representatives at Experience Columbus for their perspective on the new proposal, they didn’t want to comment on it directly, but instead referred to a greater need for a much larger full-service hotel facility.
“Strategic hotel development is a vital part in growing the community’s $8.7 billion dollar tourism economy,” said Megumi Robinson, Associate Director of Public Relations at Experience Columbus. “We continue to hear from our current and prospective customers that to attract more national associations, major sporting events and large conventions to Columbus, we need a 1,000-room full-service convention hotel and luxury hotel around the convention center. This will also allow us to be competitive within the set of cities we compete with for conventions, meetings and sporting events business while elevating our city’s image.”
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Update 1/15 11:10am – Additional info added from Daniel Thomas.
Update 1/15 3:10pm – Additional info added from Megumi Robinson.