Breaking ground on new Heritage Square hotel

Heritage Square in home to retail shops, a supermarket, restaurants, and a soon-to-be hotel.

Despite frigid temperatures, representatives from Holladay Properties and Gateway Hospitality Group celebrated the culmination of years planning and developing with the groundbreaking of a new Hampton Inn and Suites.

The project was announced in August 2013 with an opening deadline of August 1, 2014, which means construction through Michiana's freezing cold winter.

Chain link fences popped up over the past several weeks marking the construction site of the new hotel and parking lot. The structure will stand four stories tall and contain 99 rooms, a partial restaurant and a small sundry store.

The groundbreaking ceremony was held inside a heated tent at the back end of the square, marking the site of the hotel's future entrance.

According to John Phair, Holladay Property's president, the hotel will be the first one of its kind in the state of Indiana. There are currently no hotels that have been integrated into a mix-use shopping center, like Heritage Square, throughout the state.

Phair said the hotel will give patrons the opportunity to chose their own dining and shopping locations without having to get in and out of their car.

"We think that's a big deal," said Phair, "it's what customers want in this part of the city.

Although the construction will proceed at a fairly rapid pace, vice president of development at Holladay, Manette Tepe, said there have been years of planning and preparing.

Hilton, the parent company of Hampton Inn and Suites, went public Thursday morning. Phair jokingly told the ground breaking's crowd that this hotel will be the first project started as a publicly traded company.

When Hilton came out with a new design initative, Tepe explained they had to redraw the plans for the Hampton to match the new prototype.

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