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Plans for downtown Hilton hotel gain approval 

BY LAUREN P. DUNCANlduncan@paducahsun.com

Preliminary physical plans for the Hilton Garden Inn along the Paducah Riverfront have been approved.

The Paducah Riverfront Development Authority (PRDA) and Hilton Worldwide approved schematic plans Wednesday for the Hilton Garden Inn that will be constructed in Paducah in 2015, according to Glenn Malone of Senate Hospitality, developer David Puckett and Steve Doolittle, executive director of PRDA.

Paducah Convention Hotel entered into a franchise agreement in May to build a 121-room Hilton Garden Inn adjacent to the Julian Carroll Convention Center. 

The colors of the schematic plans released Wednesday will likely change, Puckett said, but otherwise, the physical plans for the site are moving forward.

Malone said the location of the hotel's restaurant, bar and meeting space have changed from original plans. Rather than constructing the restaurant and meeting spaces on the first floor, the plans have been revised to place them on the top floor.

The goal in the change, Doolitte said, was to make the hotel more urban and better utilize the downtown and river views on the top floor. Additionally, he said the change helps with site-planning on the first floor.

An outdoor patio adjacent to the restaurant area is planned for the top floor, as well as four additional balconies on both the riverfront side and city side of the hotel.

The bar area will be larger than a typical hotel of this size, Doolittle said, because of its location downtown.

"We just think there's an opportunity with the convention center and most particularly with the locals ... there's an opportunity to gather," he said.

There will be an 1,800-square-foot room for meeting space on the top floor, which can be divided into two separate rooms. When undivided, Malone said it can hold between 120-180 people, depending on seating. The hotel will also include a 400-square-foot room designed for board meetings..

Two oversized suites are planned for the third and fourth floors, but the hotel will still meet the city's requirement of at least 121 rooms. 

The entrance and lobby area will be "living room" style, Doolittle said, with a fireplace.

"All around this is a unique presentation. This is going to be great," Doolittle said.

The hotel is on track to be completed by the fall of 2015.

Contact Lauren Duncan, Paducah Sun staff writer, at 270-575-8692 or follow @laurenpduncan on Twitter.

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