Newspaper article Evansville Courier & Press (2007-Current)

Mayor to Suggest Deal for Hotel Soon ; Downtown Lured 3 Bids

Newspaper article Evansville Courier & Press (2007-Current)

Mayor to Suggest Deal for Hotel Soon ; Downtown Lured 3 Bids

Article excerpt

Mayor Lloyd Winnecke expects to make a recommendation to the Evansville Redevelopment Commission "in the coming weeks" on which of three firms should build a new Downtown hotel as well as the still undetermined level of public financing for the project. Three companies are being considered - Gatehouse Capital Corp. of Dallas; HCW of Branson, Mo.; and Swerdling & Associates of Denver. All three submitted bids by an Oct. 30 deadline and have since met with Winnecke and an informal committee he assembled to hear the proposals.

The three development plans include space for retail and dining establishments in addition to 240-260 hotel rooms. The hotel will replace the former Executive Inn on Walnut Street, which was demolished during construction of the Ford Center. The new hotel will be built on the site of the Executive Inn's parking structure and one-time Green Convention Center.

"We are in the process of evaluating each of those proposals," Winnecke said. "Each of them would be extremely good for the city. The proposals are exciting, they are dynamic."

Each development firm was given two hours to make a presentation to the group Winnecke assembled to hear those presentations. It consisted of City Council President Connie Robinson, D-4th Ward; City Councilman Dan McGinn, R-1st Ward; Vanderburgh County Commission President Marsha Abell; Convention and Visitors Bureau Director Bob Warren; Evansville Redevelopment Commission President Ed Hafer; and banking and business community representatives Jim Sandgren, John Daniel and Andy Goebel. Also sitting in on the presentations were accountant Bob Swintz with the London Witte Group and attorney Tom Pitman with Barnes & Thornburg.

The administration of former Mayor Jonathan Weinzapfel last year had selected The Kunkel Group to develop a Downtown hotel. …

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