Elkhart Hopes for Downtown Hotel

Two private developers have stepped forward with plans to build in Elkhart, on property that is near and dear to the ”city with a heart.”

Elkhart's Civic Plaza is up for grabs, and developers from Elkhart and Columbus say they’re up to the challenge.

The Civic Plaza is a prime piece of property that has been more of a “problem” parcel in the recent past.

Previous proposals to develop the site have fallen through.

But those proposals came before the city invested in river walk, and streetscape programs.

According to Elkhart Mayor Dave Miller, “this has been a long time in the works that finally has reached the tipping point for it to take place.”

One proposal carries a price tag of 18-million dollars.

It calls for a four-story structure that would combine a 120-room hotel, with condominiums and retail space.

“The other proposal is divided into two separate buildings,”
According to City Planner Brian Gildea. “One of which they discussed having a hotel in there, the other would be office building with retail component on the ground floor as well.”

This time, the mayor feels the odds of a project moving forward are as high as the city’s hopes.

“Elkhart needs a hotel downtown” says Miller, “just like South Bend has, we need one probably not as big, but certainly something to give people a place to stay when they come downtown.”

There was a dilapidated hotel on the property in 1999, which the city bought and demolished.

The Elkhart Redevelopment Commission meets again later this month to consider the proposals.

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