Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Hotel Decision Shocker: It's The Marriott

A 25-story Marriott Hotel gets picked by the city as the flagship hotel for the expanded Indiana Convention Center, beating out the early favorite, the 44-story InterContinental Hotel proposed for the PanAm Plaza site by real estatea developer Michael Browning, a big political supporter of Mayor Peterson. The Star reports, "The seven-member hotel selection committee, appointed by Mayor Bart Peterson, said the 800-room Marriott is the best choice to serve the growing numbers of conventions headed to Indianapolis."

The Marriott proposal is backed by Republican developer Michael Wells, who had made it known that the Marriott planned to build a new hotel on the site regardless of which hotel proposal was chosen by the city. Because the city planned to dump as much as $55 million into public subsidies in the project, it seemed to make no sense to subsidize the construction of an InterContinental Hotel, although it was a much flashier proposal, if a new hotel was going to be brought on line next to the convention center. Hopefully, the city will substantially scale back those proposed subsidies. Certainly there will need to be a connector over West Street built and perhaps some infrastucture assistance, but there is no need to dump tens of millions of dollars into a hotel which would have been built anyway.

17 comments:

arnie said...

Sorry all the Peterson bashers have to eat crow. Hmmmm. I wonder if Goldsmith and his boys would have done the right thing.....Just joking.

Anonymous said...

This is a mistake, the other proposal was bold, a big city statement. This is just another ho-hum business hotel. Without a ballroom.

Bad decision.

Advance Indiana said...

I think you're wrong anon 6:43. I believe both hotels had ballrooms in their proposals. I don't know how they compare sizewise.

Anonymous said...

Prefab hotels like Fairfield, Courtyard, & Renaissance should not receive any taxpayer incentives.

Certainly the low rent hotel across the street from the Lucas Oil Stadium did not get incentives.

Anonymous said...

Both hotels had ballrooms. Differing sizes, but they're there.

Mike Wells has sucked the city dry in the past; he's benefitted from his very close ties to the Goldsmith administration. Evidence: the Emmis Building...which he developed, and for which he got city subsidies and received a developer's AND broker's fee.

And there was zippo competition for that proposal.

Different administration, same bullshit.

Anonymous said...

Multi-million dollar incentive requests from the Wells team may earn a veto from Bart.

Browning obviously needs the garage below his proposed hotel to be taken seriously.

Anonymous said...

6:43 back agian.

I'm still upset that the decision was made to go with what I'm sure will be a very nice (albeit just another) Marriot over was would have been a bold new entry into the Indianapolis skyline. 25 stories isn't a small building by any stretch of the imagination, but the 44 of the Intercon. would have been spectacular.

As for subsidies, I think this (unlike the Emmis building) is a project that you do give tax abatements for, its a big picture, long term kinda thing.

NDN said...

Tax Abatements without Citizen input via Referendum/Ballot????
You are Totalitarians All.
This is Taxation without Representation and we citizens have no representation in Center Townshiop....
"Refresh the Republic" anyone??

Anonymous said...

uh, genius...

The tax abatements are granted by persons who are elected by us.

Wilson46201 said...

As for the idiot who said they have no representation in Center Township: voters had their choice to make on November 7th - voters chose Carl Drummer etc by a 3-to-1 margin. That's a landslide and a mandate. It's called Democracy - it's American - it's Hoosier - it's served us well since 1776 !

Anonymous said...

(pinching myself, checking previous posts, looking at topics)

Uh, Wilson...NOBODY was talking about Carl Drummer in this post.

Too many Screwdrivers this morning?

Jay said...

Aesthetically speaking, the InterCon plan was bolder and would have bolstered Indy's image and skyline. Now we're just getting a rather pedestrian-looking hotel that won't truly impress anyone. To compete, Indy needs to start acting like a 1st tier city despite its 2nd tier mentality.

I lived in Seattle for years, and while Indianapolis is larger in size and population, Seattle boasted a better skyline and a more metropolitan atmosphere.

Indianapolis must start practicing what it preaches in terms of being "world-class."

Anonymous said...

The artist's renderings of the JW Marriott were hastily put together for the purpose of the presentation and do not represent at all what the final look of the hotel will be. And since it will have 1,000 rooms instead of 800, it's more likely to be as tall as 35 stories. So hang on ... it might not be another "box" at all.

Anonymous said...

All the stories this morning, indicated the developer repsonded ot the city's request to jazz it up. So, it looks like Mr. White will do just that.

Bold is good. We need more of it.
But you don't choose a hotel strictly because of its contribution to the skyline. Hotels are risky businesses. It's kind of difficult to alter a hotel's business plan if it's not working, so you've got to get it right the first time.

It is not a business for the faint of heart.

I am told that White was going to build this hotel regardless of the city's decision. If so, as AI has mentioned, perhaps we can scale back the incentives?

Anonymous said...

Too many Screwdrivers this morning?

That's too high class of a drink for Wilson. Thunderbird is more appropriate for his type.

Anonymous said...

I said screwdrivers for a reason, Hail. You'll note there was no immediate retort. Also for a reason.

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