Development plan for downtown hotel, conference center OK'd

Feb. 16—The development plan for the downtown hotel and conference center has been approved.

The Kokomo Plan Commission on Tuesday voted to approve the plans. The approval was the last needed for the project before it can be issued building permits. Construction on the public-private development — to be located in the block between Main and Union streets just north of Wildcat Creek — is expected to break ground this spring, nearly five years after it was unveiled at Kokomo City Hall in the summer of 2018.

The six-story, 123-room hotel, set to be a Hilton Garden Inn, will be privately developed by Dora Hotel Company LLC, while the conference center will be paid for with public money and owned publicly. The exact funding mechanism for the conference center is not yet finalized, though it will include a mixture of READI grant money, county money and a portion of the county's yearly innkeeper's tax revenue. The city is also expected to contribute a portion.

According to the development plan, guests who walk through the front door will be greeted with a lobby, bar, pool and restaurant. The hotel's second floor includes a meeting room and a collection of double-queen bedrooms and one-king-size bedrooms. More double-queen beds and one-king-size bedrooms populate the third, fourth and sixth floors.

In total, according to the development plan, the hotel will have 46 king-size bedrooms, three corner king-size suites, 67 double-queen-size rooms and seven handicap-accessible rooms. The vast majority of onsite parking will be located south of the two buildings, and the hotel's main entrance will be located at the northeast corner of Superior and Union.

The adjacent two-story conference center will be the new home of the Kokomo Automotive Museum and will include office space for the Greater Kokomo Economic Development Alliance and hotel staff offices. An enclosed bridge that includes walking space and meeting rooms will connect the buildings.

The auto museum, according to the development plans, will be located in the basement of the convention center and will have its own ground-floor entrance on the south side of the building. On the first floor is the main ballroom and five other smaller conference rooms, as well as bathrooms and a kitchen.

On the second floor will be the aforementioned Alliance offices and hotel staff offices, as well as the aforementioned meeting rooms.

Tyler Juranovich can be reached at 765-454-8577, by email at or on Twitter at @tylerjuranovich.