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Downtown Eugene’s next big addition may be a four-story, 120-room Hilton hotel.
New York real estate development firm Widewaters wants to build the hotel on Olive Street and West 11th Avenue, on a site where a local mortuary business has operated for more than a century, according to planning documents filed with the city. The hotel would be about a block from the massive Capstone student housing complex.The company hopes to knock down the 103-year-old Musgrove Family Mortuary building and start building the hotel in May or June, Widewaters Development Manager Kevin Kane said today. The property also includes a large parking lot.
The timeline would put developers on track for a spring 2016 opening, although Kane said that could change, based on talks with the city over utility connections and other planning issues.
“We’re hoping we can start construction at the end of the second quarter,” Kane said.
The hotel will be branded “Home2 Suites by Hilton.” Documents and diagrams show plans for a ground-floor business office, exercise room, swimming pool, dining room and 50-person meeting room for conferences, as well as a parking garage facing Olive Street.
Floors two, three and four would each have 40 rooms, split between studios and one-bedroom suites. Each unit would include a small kitchen.
A Hilton has operated on East Sixth Avenue downtown since 1982. But Kane said the company wanted to add a second location, and saw the Musgrove site in the heart of downtown as ideal. Planning documents say the hotel is a joint effort by Widewaters and the Musgrove family.
Mark Musgrove, a co-owner of the business, said they plan to move their business out in the coming months. They have other Eugene locations to keep their operation going, he said.
The hotel would be open to anyone, but “it will really be focused on the business traveler or the education traveler,” Kane said, “someone who might need to be in Eugene for a week or two doing a series of presentations at the university, or maybe someone working with Nike who’s going to be in Eugene for three weeks.”
Kane declined to disclose the project cost or projected room rates.
Widewaters officials are scheduled to meet with Eugene planning staff Feb. 2, to discuss potential construction issues, a step developers typically take before applying for building permits.
Assuming it’s completed, the hotel could be a huge boon for downtown businesses and restaurants by bringing more out-of-area visitors to the city’s core, Downtown Eugene, Inc. President Sarah Bennett said.
The project also meets the city’s long-term goal to replace old buildings and large, often empty parking lots with high-density development, including ground floor or below-ground parking.
The last major downtown development, the Capstone complex on West 13th Avenue and Olive Street, replaced an old PeaceHealth clinic and two acres of parking lots.
“To build a dense development on a site that currently has substantial surface parking is exactly what this community is trying to achieve,” Bennett said.
She had heard the Musgrove property was a candidate for redevelopment, but hadn’t heard about the hotel plan before today, she said.
“One of our large overall goals is to create more street-level traffic downtown,” Bennett said. “If the people are here, then retailers are more likely to locate here.”
Widewaters builds hotels, retail and office properties, according to its website. Founded in 1982, the Syracuse, N.Y. company currently owns 21 hotels across the United States and Canada, mostly on the east coast. Seven of its hotels are operated as Hiltons.
The Eugene Home2 Suites by Hilton would be Widewaters’ first Oregon hotel. YAY Go Eugene.Thanks Elon for the great news!
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