Developer picks unusual spot for new hotel

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It’s hard to miss the ongoing Stadium Lofts apartment project along West 16th Street, as a second phase is about to get under way to add more units.

sleep in 225pxBut what about the nearby redevelopment of the old office/warehouse building set back from the north side of the street where Indiana Avenue connects?

Seems like a peculiar place to build a hotel, even if it's a modestly priced brand. Yet, that’s what’s going up at 1244 W. 16th St., according to construction filings.

The flag: a Sleep Inn, part of the Rockville, Md.-based Choice Hotels International Inc. chain. Its other holdings include Comfort Inn, Quality and EconoLodge.
The developer of the Sleep Inn, locally based MKS Lodging LLC, received a variance from the city in July to extend the building to four stories. When finished, it will total nearly 39,000 square feet, according to filings.

It’s unclear, though, when it might open. A representative of the developer said he wasn’t ready to discuss the project, and Choice Hotels didn’t return phone calls.

The area northwest of downtown could be ripe for rejuvenation if the city’s ambitious plans for its 16 Tech life sciences corridor come to fruition.

That could be what the developer is betting on, said Mark Eble, a hotel consultant and Midwest regional vice president for San Francisco-based PKF Consulting.

“Ordinarily, hotels are the last ones in on that stuff,” he said. “If that gets delayed or if it doesn’t happen, this guy’s kind of out there by himself, which is a risky place to be.”

Meanwhile, construction should start early next month on the second phase of John Watson’s redevelopment of the former Bush Stadium. The next phase, Stadium Flats, calls for 144 units in a newly constructed building to the south of Stadium Lofts.
Stadium Lofts contains 138 units inside the old stadium and is fully occupied.

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