Indiana, PA - Indiana County

Plans for hotel at KCAC move ahead

by on July 09, 2014 10:59 AM

White Township planning commissioners have given the go-ahead to Indiana University of Pennsylvania’s proposed hotel, approving a final site plan during a meeting Tuesday.

The approval is conditional on officials signing a stormwater infrastructure maintenance agreement and purchasing the required number of sewer taps. Although the project still has other hurdles to clear, it’s a significant step forward for the on-again, off-again project.

“All lights are green,” said Cornelius Wooten, IUP’s vice president for administration and finance.

He said he believes the university and the private developer building the hotel will be breaking ground on the project sometime in the fall.

The five-story, upscale hotel is to be a Hilton Garden Inn that will sit next the Kovalchick Convention and Athletic Complex. Construction may take around 18 months to complete.

Indiana University of Pennsylvania will not have an ownership stake in the hotel, but it is leasing the ground on which the hotel will sit to the developer under a long-term agreement.

The hotel, which has been on the books since at least 2008, is meant to be a complement business to the Kovalchick complex.

As a conference center, it has been prevented from bidding to be the host for certain events because it lacks an on-site hotel. With the addition of the hotel, officials have said they believe they’ll see an increase of 15 percent to 20 percent in conference and meeting bookings.

The hotel was to have opened around the same time as the KCAC in March 2011. But the project has been beset by a series of delays, the latest of which came as the developer struggled to obtain financing for the project. As of November 2012, construction was estimated to cost $21.3 million.

Sam Kusic is a staff writer for The Indiana Gazette.
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