Eight-story Holiday Inn proposed for Downtown site

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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.

Mark Belko: Mark Belko: mbelko@post-gazette.com or 412-263-1262. First Published May 23, 2014 12:47 PM

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