Paducah's riverfront hotel is moving closer to groundbreaking with the city expecting to see the first conceptual drawings later this month.
In an update to the Paducah City Commission Tuesday, Paducah Riverfront Development Authority (PRDA) Director Steve Doolittle confirmed architectural drawings by LLW Architects Inc. of Memphis, for the $19.2 million, 121-room Hilton Garden Inn will be presented at the PRDA meeting on July 23.
The hotel will be built adjacent to the Julian Carroll Convention Center, on the site of the Paducah Dome Pavilion at 600 N. Sixth St.
"There is a speed that is starting to pick up with this project," Doolittle said. "As a partner in this project, the city wants to see the quality and how well it is designed."
LLW Architects is the same firm that was used to design the Hampton Inn in downtown Owensboro, Doolittle said. The Owensboro hotel and its restaurant were praised by Commissioner Sandra Wilson, who stayed there last week during a tour of four western Kentucky cities with the Paducah Area Chamber of Commerce.
"We hope for the same thing here," she said.
According to Mayor Gayle Kaler, groundbreaking on the hotel is expected by early fall and construction will be finished in the second half of 2015.
Doolittle noted the Kentucky Tourism Development Finance Authority approved $4.5 million in tourism incentives for the project this week. The incentives are in the form of a rebate based on sales tax generated by the hotel over a 10-year period.
The finance authority showed confidence the hotel would attract significant out-of-state business, Doolittle said.
"The hotel will create more demand than it can consume," he said.
Approximately 70 new hospitality jobs are expected to be created and developers expect to spur $116 million in local economic activity within the first 10 years of opening.
In other business, utility relocation for the Olivet Church Road widening project is nearly complete, and Paducah City Engineer Rick Murphy expects road construction will begin by fall.
The Paducah Power System has relocated electrical lines and power poles and the Paducah-McCracken Joint Sewer Authority (JSA) is relocating sanitary sewer mains and service lines, Murphy stated.
The commission introduced an ordinance for an agreement with Paducah Water for its portion of utility construction and relocation.
The estimated project cost is $460,000. The city will reimburse Paducah Water for labor and materials, using the $2 million allocation from the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet for right-of-way acquisition and utility relocation.
In similar agreements with Paducah Power and JSA in May, the city has agreed to reimburse electric utility work in the amount of $225,000 and sewer relocation work in the amount of $304,240.
By widening Olivet Church Road, the city hopes to enhance connectivity to the Kentucky Oaks Mall area.
The project is meant to widen Olivet Church Road to three lanes between James Sanders Boulevard and Hinkleville Road. There is also a five-lane access road, which will connect Olivet Church to New Holt, and plans to redesign the New Holt Road access intersection to the mall.
In an agreement with the Kentucky Oaks Mall, construction will halt around the mall area from Nov. 1 through Jan. 15 to accommodate an increase in holiday traffic.
The total cost of the widening project is estimated to be $8.5 million.
The commission also approved a lease agreement with Michigan-based Genova Products at 5400 Commerce Drive in the I-24 Park. The 100,000 square foot facility is co-owned by the city and McCracken County.
The McCracken Fiscal Court approved the lease agreement Monday.
Contact Carrie Dillard, a Paducah Sun staff writer, at 270-575-8657.