Opening date set for $15 million hotel near Big Four Bridge

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Louisville Business First, Kentucky 7/12/2016

Reporter: Marty Finley

If Alan Muncy has his way, downtown Jeffersonville will have a new hotel option before the 2017 Thunder over Louisville takes flight.

Muncy, owner of Jeffersonville-based ARC Construction Management LLC, said Tuesday morning that he is shooting for an April 1 opening date for the three-story, 93-room TownePlace Suites by Marriott, which is being built on a little more than an acre at the former Rose Hill Elementary School site at 301 W. Maple St.

The hotel, which Muncy said will be more than 50,000 square feet, is being built near Spring and Mulberry streets. It’s just across the street from the Big Four Bridge, the pedestrian connection between Jeffersonville and Louisville.

ARC is the developer, owner, general contractor and designer of the project and is working in conjunction with Indiana-based Dora Hotel Co. LLC on its development. Dora will be the property manager for the hotel once it is finished, Muncy said.

First Savings Bank is financing the hotel’s construction, which Muncy has estimated at $15 million.

Most of the suites at TownePlace Suites will have double-queen or single-queen beds and have extended-stay capabilities and amenities. The hotel will have an indoor pool and a small bar and lounge, Muncy said.

Dora officials estimate room rates will be set around $120, though that could vary for special events.

Muncy said his company has owned the Maple Street site for nearly three years and originally planned to create residential and retail uses there.

But after further analysis, he said, an upscale hotel appeared to be an elevated use for the site. Muncy believes it could help address a hotel room shortage in Louisville and Southern Indiana that has led some large conventions to pull out of Louisville, such as the national FFA convention.

“Marriott is one of the largest and most recognized brands in the world,” he said.

Timothy Dora, principal of Dora Hotel Co., said his firm has experience managing other hotels in similar downtown layouts and vowed to make the TownePlace Suites one of the top-rated hotels in the area.

Jeffersonville Mayor Mike Moore said the Rose Hill site was considered a bad part of town as recently as five years ago, and the thought of a Marriott Hotel there would have been a pipe dream.

“No one would have believed you” Moore said.

The hotel will be bolstered by a recently announced apartment complex and two new mixed-use developments planned just a few miles away on 10th Street.

Couple that development with improved access through the Ohio River Bridges Project, and Jeffersonville is trending upward when it comes to economic development, Moore said.

The TownePlace Suites project is made sweeter, he said, by the fact that a local developer in Muncy has put his money on the line to make the city better.

Muncy echoed the mayor: “I’m pretty excited to be doing something at home.”