City and Sprague Hotel Developers part ways on downtown hotel conference center project

COLUMBUS, Ind. — The Columbus Redevelopment Center announced late Thursday that the city and the selected developer for the downtown hotel conference center, Sprague Hotel Developers, are parting ways on the project after being unable to come to mutually acceptable terms after delays resulting from the pandemic.

The city will continue moving forward on the project, according to city officials and remains “optimistic” about the future of the project, city officials said.

In late 2019, just before the pandemic began, Sprague was selected as the preferred developer to spearhead the hotel and conference center efforts, according to Heather Pope, city redevelopment director. However, when the COVID-19 pandemic crippled the hotel industry by significantly reducing business and leisure travel, the project was put on hold.

In the meantime, the redevelopment commission focused on The Taylor development, which is nearly completed downtown, featuring apartments and an urban grocer component in development by Flaherty & Collins Properties, Pope said.

Following a mid 2022 update by Hunden Strategic Partners to the 2018 market and feasibility study on the hotel conference center, the city was planning on moving forward with the hotel conference center, by obtaining the site, which has been completed, initiating environment remediation efforts and engaging architect atelierRISTING to design a parking garage, which was part of the original development proposal, Pope said.

City officials and Sprague resumed conversations about the development last year, but Pope said the parties were unable to come to mutually acceptable terms on the project.

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