ST. LOUIS — Downtown St. Louis could get yet another hotel if an Iowa company secures all necessary approvals.
Hawkeye Hotels, based in Iowa City, is proposing a 12-story, $16.5 million, 154-room hotel on a parking lot it owns at 1014-1018 Olive Street.
The new hotel, dubbed Moxy St. Louis, would be located next to another Hawkeye-owned property, the 91-room Hotel Majestic St. Louis, at 1019 Olive Street.
Staff at the St. Louis Development Corp. is recommending that the St. Louis Board of Aldermen approve a 10-year property tax abatement of 90 percent. The former Hotel Majestic will become a Le Méridien, an upscale Marriott brand. Hawkeye is not seeking any incentives for that rehab project, expected to be completed in late autumn.
The Moxy, another Marriott brand, is new “but it’s caught on pretty fast,” said Samir Patel, development manager for Hawkeye. There are only 14 Moxy hotels in the country now, and this would be the second developed by Hawkeye, which owns and operates 50 hotels.
The hotels are the latest in a string of lodging proposals downtown, including an 86-room Hotel Indigo in the LaSalle building under construction a couple blocks away at 501 Olive Street.
Over 100 rooms have recently been added to the downtown market and hundreds more are planned or under construction.
Restoration St. Louis recently opened Hotel St. Louis in the historic Union Trust building, and last month its owners announced plans to expand the hotel into the adjacent Chemical Building.
Underway is Fe Equus’ 143-room hotel in the old International Shoe Co. headquarters. A Live! by Loews hotel under construction in Ballpark Village will add 216 rooms to the entertainment district. And a 185-room, $48 million 21c Museum Hotel is planned for the old YMCA downtown.
The 21c’s ownership group, Colorado-based Nuovo RE, also applied for tax abatement. St. Louis Development Corp. staff is recommending 10 years of 90 percent tax abatement and five years of 50 percent abatement.
All of the hotel additions have prompted SLDC to seek a consultant market report on the area’s hotel market and room demand. Some aldermen have questioned whether the city should be subsidizing so many hotels.
The city’s Land Clearance for Redevelopment Authority has been considering hiring H&H Financial, the firm of Chesterfield hotel analyst Gary Andreas, to study the market. The cost would be $11,500. The board in January balked at the hotel contract, calling it unnecessary. But on Tuesday, it approved hiring Andreas to conduct the study.