UPDATED – A Wichita hospitality group is going to be the first tenant in a new development in west Lawrence.
Hospitality Development of America is going to build a Best Western Plus at the Mercato just off of the K-10 turnpike exit in west Lawrence.
The $14.5 million hotel will be four stories and have 116 rooms.
“West Lawrence is a thriving, growing area,” says Steven Martens, CEO of Martens Cos. and its hotel development subsidiary.
He says there’s “a lot of demand for hotel rooms and other development” there.
“We’re excited to lead off the Mercato development with our hotel project.”
The hotel will be similar to one the group opened in Norman in August and Arkansas City before that.
Best Western Hotels & Resorts named Martens its 2016 Developer of the Year.
Hospitality Development of America acquired its first hotel in late 2011.
“This will be our fifth hotel and our third new-build hotel,” Martens says.
He says the hotel will break ground this summer and open in the second quarter of 2018.
Martens says the entire area surrounding the hotel, including Rock Chalk Park and hiking and biking trails, is active.
“There are a lot of events that happen there,” he says.
“It’s a very vibrant area,” Martens says. “As typical with the city of Lawrence, it’s been very well planned out.”
Martens, a University of Kansas graduate, says the Mercato deal is strictly a business deal. However, he says it’s made sweeter being in his alma mater’s hometown.