|By Rod Spaw, Herald-Times, Bloomington,
Ind.McClatchy-Tribune Regional News
March 06, 2012--A new downtown hotel and a face lift for the downtown Kroger are moving ahead with Bloomington Plan Commission approval.
Plans for a hotel at College Avenue and Ninth Street received unanimous approval Monday from the commission after developers presented a new layout that incorporated a small commercial area along Morton Street.
Commission members had told representatives of the KPM Hotel Group last month that they wanted to see some commercial space in the part of the building that faced Morton Street, consistent with what had been required of other downtown developers. Plans originally called for that part of the building to be fully taken up by parking garage spaces.
The developers returned Monday with plans that included approximately 650 square feet of commercial space at the corner of Ninth and Morton. Adding the small retail area resulted in the loss of four parking spaces, leaving 133 covered and open spaces for the 155-room hotel.
There were several other changes to architectural features of the building, but it was the added commercial space that commission members noted in voting for approval of the new plans.
The $17 million project at 501 N. College Ave. would be a Springhill Suites by Marriott Hotel. Developers have said previously that they would like to break ground this summer, with a construction period of about 12 months. It would be the first hotel built downtown since the Hilton Gardens Inn opened in 2006 at 245 N. College Ave.
Developers still must get approval from the City Council to vacate an existing north-south alley that bisects the hotel site.
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