Developer plans Kansas City’s first new downtown hotel tower since 1985

A Tennessee developer plans to build a 257-room hotel in the Crossroads Arts District that will be the first significant new hotel project in downtown Kansas City since the Vista International opened in 1985.

Chartwell Hospitality plans to break ground early next year on a 10-story hotel building that will house two flags, a Marriott Courtyard and Residence Inn. The project includes a 166-space garage, and in an intriguing shift, the developer will not be seeking city tax incentives for the project.

“We think the downtown market is ripe for a new hotel,” Will Schaedle, Chartwell acquisitions and development manager, said Monday. “We’re happy to be the developer.

“We think … (it) is a good spot with the Power & Light District nearby and development pushing south, and it’s within walking distance to the central business district.”

While several hotels have opened in downtown since 2000, including the Hilton President Hotel, the Phillips Hotel, Aladdin Hotel and the Ambassador Hotel, all have been renovation projects of existing buildings.

The Chartwell hotel project is planned for the block between Main Street and Baltimore Avenue from 16th Street to Truman Road. It will be next to the new Sporting Innovation offices in the redeveloped Hanna Rubber Co. building at 1511 Baltimore. It does not include the old Lane Blueprint building at 1520 Main.

The project also is one block from the Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts and on the new streetcar route planned for Main Street.

The cost of the project was not disclosed, but Schaedle said it will be entirely privately financed. Chartwell is based in suburban Nashville and owns about 30 hotels across the country.

Most, if not all, downtown and urban core projects in Kansas City in recent years have sought some type of incentives, either property tax abatement, tax-increment financing or both.

Schaedle said having two hotel flags share a building is a relatively new concept. The Residence Inn, which is more of a longer-stay brand, will use 104 rooms, the Courtyard Marriott, geared to short visits, will occupy 153. Guests at both will use the same swimming pool, conference center and fitness room.

The 190,000 square-foot hotel is expected to be completed by the fall of 2015.

The property being sold is owned by the Weiner family. Whitney Kerr Sr. and Mike Posten of Cassidy Turley were the brokers representing the property owners.