Eight-story Holiday Inn proposed for Downtown site
May 23, 2014 10:34 PM
A Holiday Inn could be headed Downtown. This photo captures the exterior of Holiday Inn in Oakland.
By Mark Belko / Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
There are Holiday Inns all over the land but not a one in Downtown. A Bridgeville developer is hoping to change that.
The Forza Group will brief the city planning commission Tuesday on a proposal to build an eight-story, 99-room Holiday Inn at 435 Fort Pitt Blvd. near Smithfield Street. The plan also includes a bar and restaurant and limited parking, nine spaces in all.
In documents filed with the planning commission, Forza said it hopes to have the $9 million project completed by June 2015.
“There’s really no [Holiday Inn] presence in the Downtown Pittsburgh area,” said Brock Hunt, Forza’s director of franchise relations. The closest is a Holiday Inn Express and Suites on South 10th Street, South Side.
The venture revives the developer’s plans for the Fort Pitt Boulevard site.
In 2009, it proposed a 12-story hotel there. Two years later, the planning commission approved a scaled-down 107-room, seven-story hotel after substantial changes were made based on concerns raised by nearby residents.
The development, however, never got started. William Sittig, attorney for Forza, said the project was held up while the developer addressed neighborhood concerns and worked to secure financing and a hotel brand.
Forza is promising an “affordable rate structure” for the Holiday Inn, but Mr. Hunt did not know what the room charges would be.
The Holiday Inn would be the developer’s first Downtown hotel project, but it has developed nine hotels in the region, including Hiltons and Marriotts.
The Holiday Inn would be the latest in a series of hotel projects Downtown.
St. Louis-based Drury Hotels is converting the former Federal Reserve Bank on Grant Street into a 180-room Drury Inn and Suites to be ready in late 2015. A 247-room Hotel Monaco is expected to open in the James H. Reed Building on Sixth Avenue later this year.
The upper floors of the Oliver Building on Smithfield Street will house a 230-room Embassy Suites Hotel. A 198-room Hilton Garden Inn will be part of the mixed-use Gardens at Market Square project now under construction on Forbes Avenue.
According to the Pittsburgh Downtown Partnership, there are 1,491 hotel rooms proposed or under construction in greater Downtown, which includes the north and south shores, the Strip District, Uptown and the Hill District.
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