Revised deal for new convention center hotel in Owensboro approved


OWENSBORO, Ky. (WEHT) More than two years after a proposed mixed use building near the owensboro convention center was announced, city commissioners approve an amended agreement, providing millions of dollars for the project. 

The planned hotel and apartments on west second is also changing from its original plans.

Since the old buildings on the 3rd convention center hotel site came down in June of 2019, the site has been largely quiet.

“When the shutdown took place, now it’s very slowly coming back online, but getting steel, getting materials, getting HVAC systems, it is absolutely imperative to a project to have that stuff in line and be able to procure it. During the pandemic, it was not possible,” said Ed Ray, C.O.O. for Gulfstream, explaining how the pandemic delayed construction.

Ray says the planned home two suites and apartments is getting back on track after the pandemic slowed work. City commissioners have approved an amended $4.6 million incentive package for construction, replacing the original one passed in 2019. The planned number of hotel rooms has been reduced from 120 to 110, and the number of apartments to at least 180.

“I think every hotel project in the country took a halt and step back to evaluate. Not only evaluate whether or not to build, but what to build. how do the post-COVID customers see a facility like that and if there are any changes we need to make,” Ray said.

“The fact that we’re actually building a hotel in the midst of a pandemic is a miracle in of itself,” adds Owensboro Mayor Tom Watson.

Ray says much of the money involved will go towards adding parking for the building. Contractors are reworking the building’s design. Ray says the new room and apartment numbers still meet required new hotel rooms the convention center needs to attract more business.

“As long as we’re meeting their expectations on what they need to market the downtown convention center, that’s really what lifts the entire hotel community,” says Ray.

Construction could start as soon as the end of this fall, pending approval of all permits needed.

(This story was originally published on August 10, 2021)

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