Downtown Evansville projects churn along during pandemic

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EVANSVILLE (WEHT) – Even in a pandemic, improvements keep plugging along in downtown Evansville. The Hyatt Place is one of the new hotels expected in the downtown area. Evansville officials said with the announcement of the vaccine, they expect to see pickup in the amount of travelers in the next few months.

“I think we’re doing great here,” said Joshua Armstrong, president of Downtown Evansville-Economic Improvement District. “I think also cities Evansville’s size are in a better position than some larger cities in terms of scenery rebound in a recovery.”

Another big draw, the complete renovation of the block of 5th and Main. This is expected to bring new retail and restaurant space as well. New business means new housing could be needed which brings forward another project at 5th and Vine, creating 61 new affordable housing units right in the heart of Downtown.

“It’s being converted into 61 income-based affordable apartments,” said Kelley Coures an Evansville official with the Department of Metropolitan Development.

The overall outlook of 2021 is looking to the new instead of looking back at the effects and loss that the pandemic brought forth.

“To have something built on a space that’s been vacant for half a century I think is amazing and a testimony to everything that is happening downtown. And plus the Hyatt Place is close to the museum…it’s close to the riverfront. I think it’s well placed,” Coures said.

The owner of the Hyatt said while the website lists the opening date in March, he cannot confirm it because of various delays.

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(This story was originally published on January 5, 2021)

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