City Rejects Downtown Hotel Plan | WGLT

City Rejects Downtown Hotel Plan

Jul 14, 2016

A Kentucky firm had proposed building a Hilton Garden Inn at Front and Center streets in downtown Bloomington. The city is rejecting that proposal.
Credit Staff / WGLT

The consultant charged with vetting proposals for a downtown hotel and conference center in Bloomington is recommending the city not proceed with plans announced a week ago to build a $52 million facility.

SB Friedman told city officials of its decision, while saying a report outlining the reasons would be forthcoming. During Sound Ideas this week, alderman Karen Schmidt said the city is putting a lot of faith in SB Friedman's vetting process.     

"We hired SB Friedman to be our risk managers on this. I think we all realize that any kind of endeavor like this has a certain level of risk and some of it's acceptable and some of it's not," said Schmidt. She said the Friedman input would be an important part of the process.

"If they see something that they don't like, they're going to have some very concrete suggestions about how we can tweak proposals to make it work," she added.

The proposal, from Commonwealth Hotels of Covington, Kentucky was to convert dilapidated property near the Coliseum into a Hilton Garden Inn. The city had scheduled a meeting with Commonwealth officials next week. That public work session Monday has been canceled.

In a statement, Mayor Tari Renner said the city "must make sure any deal is a good one for the City of Bloomington taxpayers."