Mayor says Carmel’s spending on 120-room hotel was worth it

CARMEL, Ind. (WISH) — A new hotel in Carmel is now open, but not without a little controversy. The high-end hotel cost nearly $20 million more than the city originally anticipated, but city leaders say the nearly $60 million hotel is something still worth paying for.

Carmel’s Mayor Jim Brainard says Hotel Carmichael, the city’s first 4-star hotel, cost $18.5 million more than what was estimated originally. But, being Carmel’s first upscale hotel in the downtown area, Brainard says he expected the cost to be higher than estimated.

“This hotel is one of the final pieces to come into this area where we’ve had millions of dollars, both private sector and public sector, put in to create this beautiful new downtown for residents and visitors,” Brainard said.

The city spent around $58.5 million on Hotel Carmichael. The building is part of Marriott’s Autograph Collection and has a supper club operated by Grammy-nominated singer Michael Feinstein. But even with those amenities, the total price came as a surprise to Carmel’s city council earlier this year when they originally approved the project for $40 million — $18.5 million less than the final cost.

“We originally asked the city council to approve a project, you haven’t spent that money yet,” Brainard said. “So what you have are very loose estimates from outside consultants, engineers and architects. That’s what was off in this case. Then the budget is established after the construction drawings are finished by the bids- the low bidder for each of the subcontractors and that establishes the budget. Hotel came in at budget. We had an early estimate by an outside consultant that was off.”

Brainard says the money is worth spending on the 120-plus room hotel. He says there is already a tremendous amount of interest with bookings already set for events. He says this hotel will also bring in and keep businesses in Carmel.

“It will be an asset to this community for well over a century and will be hopefully a place where you all enjoy coming and visiting friends and inviting friends and making it and Carmel City Center a part of your day and a part of your life,” Pedcor Investment President and CEO Bruce Cordingley said.

Brainard says he wants the hotel to be a destination, not just for people outside of Carmel, but for the people who live there too.


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