Construction Begins on Convention Hotel

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The development will link the Ford Center and Old National Events Plaza. The development will link the Ford Center and Old National Events Plaza.

A long-delayed key to revitalization efforts in downtown Evansville is moving forward. Construction is underway on the five-story, $61 million DoubleTree Convention Center Hotel. Missouri-based developer HCW LLC says the more than 240-room project is set to open next year.

The project will include a restaurant, bar and lounge, exercise facility, pool, event and meeting space and a parking garage with nearly 570 spaces.

Previous plans for the hotel called for 10 floors and included apartments. Loss of some key funding and other challenges cropped up not long before it had received nearly all necessary approvals last year, causing officials to scale the scope of the project back from a well over $70 million price tag.

Hilton Worldwide (NYSE: HLT), parent of the DoubleTree brand, says a grand opening is set for October 2016.

It will be situated near the $70 million, Indiana University-led, multi-institutional medical campus, which is slated to open prior to the 2017-2018 school year and, along with the nearly-new Ford Center, is another major project designed to help reshape and bring new life to the city's downtown.

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