At a 10 a.m. news conference this morning Mayor Ron Payne announced (officially) for a new hotel, residential and office complex downtown. The announcement came after weeks of speculation about the $44 million project.

Mayor Payne introduced developer Jack Wells of River Jam Development. Wells said the "Jam" stood for Jack and Matt (Jack Wells and Matt Hayden) and after three years of accumulating properties they finally had things in place to make the announcement.

"We are in full design phase for the Holiday Inn and the Boardwalk people will be in town in the next few weeks to discuss plans for their new office building", Wells announced.


Wells then introduced Glen Higdon of Lin-Gate Hospitality. His company will be the managing partner for the hotel. Higdon announced the hotel will be between 110 and 120 rooms with 10-12 suites. It will also feature a Sports Bar and indoor swimming Pool. "We intend to take full advantage of the beautiful riverfront with a courtyard outback facing the Ohio River", said Higdon.

The development plan calls for residential facilities at the current tennis facility with the Holiday Inn located on the west side of the former Executive Inn Rivermont. The Boardwalk office building is going to be on the former Don Moore Showroom site. Several areas of street level parking were also announced with one parking lot serving the office building during the day and downtown visitors weekends and nights.

The city reserved property directly on the river for a walkway stretching from RiverPark Center west. The announcement today provides hotels on both east and west sides of the new events center.

Wells told the 125-150 people in attendance that there are still several blank spaces on the downtown map but, "we are working on that too".

City Attorney Ed Ray, EDC representative Dean Stanley, and City Commissioners Pam Smith-Wright, David Johnson and Roger Stacey were also in attendance.

More From WOMI-AM