• Jill Taylor

First look inside the just finished Home2 Suites

By Shelby Kellerman – Reporter, Wichita Business Journal Jan 15, 2021, 2:57pm EST

Under construction in the Delano District for the last year, the extended-stay Home2 Suites by Hilton opened its doors to hotel guests for the first time Thursday. Crews are still putting on the finishing touches, but the WBJ got an early look inside. Developed by Wichita’s TGC Group, the 95-room hotel was one of two early commercial projects identified for the Delano catalyst site — seven acres of land on both sides of Sycamore, between the Advanced Learning Library and the now-finished Riverfront Stadium, designed to help spur future growth in the area.

For now, the Delano catalyst site still looks like a flurry of construction activity. Visitors can only access the Home2 Suites from McLean Boulevard while crews continue work on 225 Sycamore, the five-story, 200-unit apartment building going up to the west. Crews are also reconstructing Sycamore, adding new sidewalks, transit stops and angled parking spots.

It appears site work has also started on the triangle-shaped, vacant piece of land to the north of the hotel, where EPC is planning to build a three-story office building. With the Covid-19 virus still prevalent across the U.S., it may not seem like the most optimal time to open a hotel, but the Home2 Suites general manager, Christine Allen, has said she feels optimistic.

"We are very hopeful that things will turn around and with the vaccine coming now, we know it's a process and it's not going to happen overnight, but we also know that the extended-stay hotels have weathered the storm a little bit better than a lot of the other short-term hotels," Allen said. "So we're hoping that that carries through and we see a pretty steady base of business just based on being an extended-stay property." RECOMMENDED

The Home2 Suites will help generate funds for a STAR bond district and Community Improvement District in the area, which will put future increases in sales-tax proceeds toward the bonds used to pay for the construction of Riverfront Stadium.