Discussions could bring third hotel to downtown Fort Wayne
By Kevin Leininger | News-Sentinel
A Merrillville firm is considering building its second hotel in downtown Fort Wayne — right next to the one it opened in 2010.
White Lodging, owner of the Courtyard by Marriott at Jefferson Boulevard an Harrison Street, has an option to buy the city-owned parking lot immediately to the west and the two sides are in discussions that could climax in the construction of a third hotel downtown, Mayor Tom Henry said on The News-Sentinel's "Fort Report" television program last week before undergoing the heart bypass surgery that will keep him out of office for up to 10 days.
The parking lot is relatively small, Henry said, limiting the size of a hotel to about 125 rooms compared to the Marriott's 250. But the location would be ideal; the site is next door to the existing hotel and Parkview Field and across the street from the Grand Wayne Convention Center and the proposed site of a new downtown arena.
If an agreement is reached, the new hotel could be a Hampton Suites, Henry said.
White Lodging spokeswoman Kathleen Sebastian could not offer details but said "I can tell you (we) did meet with the city regarding a proposal and are awaiting its response."
In 2007 the city agreed to provide about $6.4 million in subsidies for the $35 million Courtyard by Marriott, but work didn't begin for two years because the recession temporarily constricted the credit market. Downtown is also home to a Hilton Hotel that opened to the east of the Grand Wayne Center in the 1980s.