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Lawmakers hopeful for downtown hotel high-rise

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — Indianapolis is moving forward with plans to secure $625 million in bonds to construct a new hotel at Pan Am Plaza. The city believes it can secure the funding at a lower rate on the bond market.

“To the taxpayers at home, (this plan has) been manipulated and said to them that taxpayers are going to be on the line for this project if the revenue doesn’t support it,” said Jared Evans, a Democrat on the City-County Council. “That is a lie. The bonds that are paying for this project are non-recourse revenue bonds.”

This project was originally going to be privately funded through Kite Realty Group, but when Kite told the city it was unable to secure funds, the city took over the project.

Republicans on the council opposed the project.

Republican Minority Leader for the City-County Council Brian Mowery said, “I understand the implications of not doing this project however, it’s the idea of the city owning a hotel and then competing directly against the private sector that has me concerned and voting against this proposal.”

The hotel will be an 800-room four-star hotel across the street from the convention center.

Kristin Jones, a council Democrat, says that this hotel will help Indianapolis join the ranks of the top host cities in the nation.

“We’re going to be a top host city in this nation, and we can have those innovative ideas that all of my colleagues have brought forth. This administration and these partners, they’re listening and they’re listening to you,” Jones said.

The proposal to obtain the bond funding passed 20 to 5 in the full council meeting on Monday. After the vote, Mayor Joe Hogsett issued a statement in favor of the move, while Republicans criticized the quickness and lack of transparency.

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