Plan advances for downtown Columbus hotel and conference center

Heather Pope. Photo courtesy of city of Columbus.

A plan is moving forward to build a downtown hotel and conference center in Columbus.

Heather Pope, director of the city’s redevelopment department, said that the city has signed a term sheet, agreeing to work together with Sprague Hotel Developers and Flaherty-Collins Developers. A term sheet indicates that both sides are interested in working together to make a particular project happen.

That project would be a hotel with more than 140 guest rooms, a ball room of more than 9,000 square feet, a restaurant and the possibility of an urban grocery and apartments.

Sprague Hotel Developers, owned by Janeen Sprague and based in downtown Columbus, already locally operates Hilton Garden Inn, Hampton Inn, Holiday Inn Express & Suites and Comfort Inn in Edinburgh, along with the Hampton Inn and Holiday Inn Express Hotel & Suites in Seymour. They also have hotels in Indianapolis, Fishers, Franklin, Greenwood and Noblesville.

The next steps will be for the city and the developers to come to an agreement that formally outlines the funding of such a project and how much the city would have to contribute. The hope is that agreement would be finished by the end of May, Pope said.

No actual location has been decided on for such a development, but the recent Envision Columbus study indicated four possible sites in downtown Columbus that could be suitable for a hotel development including the city-owned property just east of the jail, the county-owned parking lot just north of the jail, the post office site and the Crump Theater location.

Pope updated the Columbus Redevelopment Commission on the progress of the project this week.