Downtown Evansville hotel completion faces delay


EVANSVILLE, Ind. (AP) — A delay in the start of construction is pushing back the expected opening of a 10-story hotel and apartment complex in downtown Evansville.

Signs at the project site say the hotel will open in the fall of 2015, but officials of Missouri-based Killian Construction Co. told potential contractors Monday night that completion isn't anticipated until March 2016, the Evansville Courier & Press reported ( ).

Duane Prewitt, Killian's vice president of pre-construction services, said the later completion date stems from delays with the project developer in completing a hotel franchise agreement and setbacks during the winter months.

Steve Schaefer, Mayor Lloyd Winnecke's chief of staff, said city officials and developer HCW were still looking to have the hotel finished by the end of the 2015.

"They're really hoping to find ways to fast-track some of the phases," Schaefer said.

The City Council last fall approved a $20 million city subsidy for the $71 million project after several months of debate.

The project's 257-room Hilton Doubletree hotel will serve the city's neighboring convention center. The complex will also have a 78-unit apartment tower, a parking garage and sky bridges to the convention center and the nearby Ford Center arena.

The parking garage is growing from an originally proposed 300-car garage to what Prewitt anticipates will be a 600-car garage. The garage will extend over a street, creating a tunnel over the roadway, Killian officials said.

Construction should start mid-July, but might begin sooner.

Bert Warbington, the project's on-site director, told contractors that the downtown site will present a cramped construction zone.

"The site is squeaky tight," he said. "We have absolutely no room on-site for lay-down or office space."


Information from: Evansville Courier & Press,

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