TGC Group has selected a hotel flag for the Delano catalyst site — a 95-room Home2 Suites by Hilton — but president Nick Esterline says it’s even more significant that this is his company’s second major Opportunity Zone project.
“Although there’s a lot of hype about these deals, they’re really difficult to get done,” he says. “They’re big projects.”
Opportunity Zones are areas the federal government identifies as needing development and then defers taxes for investors who do work there.
With TGC’s planned $21 million building at Douglas and Emporia downtown and this $12.5 million hotel, Esterline says he guesses that “we’ve certainly closed the most in Opportunity Zone projects in Wichita” and possibly the state.
“For us, selfishly, it’s pretty special to say we did ’em,” he says. “Not to say there won’t be others that are larger.”
Esterline says Opportunity Zone deals as large as these also are “a big deal for Wichita.”
Site work has already begun at the downtown building, which IMA Financial Group will anchor.
TGC will break ground next month on the hotel, which is at 200 N. Sycamore just south of the Advanced Learning Library.
Esterline says Home2 Suites won’t be in conflict with the new Hilton Garden Inn opening downtown.
He says that’s more of a place for one- or two-night stays whereas the Home2 Suites is more of an extended-stay hotel with an average of five or six nights for business travelers.
At $100 to $120 a night, the brand is more limited service, which Esterline says makes sense.
“There’s just not a lot of that down here yet.”
Esterline expects guests to be white-collar business people, such as engineers and some construction workers.
He also expects to host baseball teams competing with Wichita’s new Triple-A minor-league baseball team.
Each room will have a kitchenette, a full-size refrigerator, dishwasher and sink. There’s also a side living room with couch and coffee table.
“It’s a pretty diverse and multifunctional room,” Esterline says. “Home2 Suites is Hilton’s most popular brand right now.”
The architect is 3ten Architecture.
The 60,000-square-foot hotel will be across the street from the 225 Sycamore apartments, which are also at the catalyst site and began construction last week.
The 204-unit apartment complex, which also has room for a few on-site businesses as amenities for tenants, will open in spring 2021.
Look for Home2 Suites to open in October 2020.