|By Eric Schwartzberg, Hamilton
JournalNews, OhioMcClatchy-Tribune Regional News
Sept. 28, 2012--WEST CHESTER TWP. -- Two new hotels and a conference center are in the works for West Chester Twp.'s Union Centre commercial district.
A full-service 6-story, 128-room Holiday Inn hotel and a conference center that will seat about 1,000 people is planned for a 5.2-acre site at Muhlhauser and Allen roads, according to Mark Davis, CEO of HiFive Development Services Inc., a Mason-based construction and planning firm.
Located across the street from IKEA, the property was purchased Sept. 4 for $2.175 million by a company identified as FAE Holdings 413133R LLC, a company HiFive represents, Davis said.
The entire project is estimated to cost $22 million, including purchase of land and furniture and construction of the building itself, he said.
Construction is anticipated to start early next spring and last for about 16 months, with the hotel's opening expected for summer 2014, he said.
"This is the only full-service hotel planned currently," Davis said. "We think, outside of the Marriott, there's a need for one more full-service hotel. The business plan looks fairly good and early feasibilities all point in the right directions at this point that it will be a profitable facility."
The project will generate 200 jobs during its construction and at least 30 to 40 jobs in the hotel when it opens, Davis said.
The site has a lot to offer, according to Mike Halonen, partner with Edge Real Estate Group, who brokered the sale for the seller.
"In addition to the ease of access to the highway, which allows users of both the hotel and the conference center to access the property easily, there's also the number of offices in the immediate area," said. "In addition, (there's also) the complimentary amenities such as the restaurants in the area."
Less than half a mile away, hotel operator Sterling Hospitality of Richmond, Ind., purchased 2.77 acres at 9306 Schulze Drive for $1.75 million on Sept. 12, according to the Butler County Auditor's Office.
That will be the site of a 125-room, five-story Hilton Garden Inn, according to Kirit Patel, one of the partners with Sterling Hospitality.
Patel said he could not provide further details about the project.
While both sites are zoned for hotel development, West Chester Twp. has yet to receive any plans or requests for either site, according to Barb Wilson, spokeswoman for the township.
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