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IUP Hotel Project Moves Forward with Developer Negotiations

IUP has entered into negotiations with DHD Hospitality, LLC, of Massachusetts, to be the developer of a hotel next to the Kovalchick Convention and Athletic Complex.

Hotel planned near KCAC

The hotel would be a Hilton Garden Inn franchise. Under this proposal, the hotel will be owned by DHD Hospitality, LLC, and operated by Gulph Creek Hotels, a company from Wayne, Pa., approved by the Hilton Garden Inn franchise.

IUP will not own or operate the facility.

DHD Hospitality, LLC, was selected after a national request for proposals.

“The principals from DHD Hospitality, LLC, have a very long, strong, and positive reputation in the hospitality industry, and they have met all of our terms and conditions,” President Michael Driscoll said.

“We are very pleased to be moving forward with this project, which will significantly complement the Kovalchick Convention and Athletic Complex.”

University officials project that bookings for events, conferences, and meetings at the Kovalchick Complex have the potential to increase by 15 to 20 percent with the addition of the hotel.

“IUP also looks forward to the opportunities for internships and other partnerships planned between the hotel developers and managers with the university’s hospitality department, the Academy of Culinary Arts, and the Kovalchick Complex management,” said Driscoll. “The Kovalchick Complex and this hotel are intended to be a resource for the entire community, as well as the university, and we appreciate the continued support of our community for the Kovalchick Complex and the hotel project.”

The major terms of the proposal for the hotel are as follows:

  • Upscale, five-story, 136-room, select service lodging facility;
  • Amenities including pool, exercise room, business center and all other upscale amenities offered by the franchise;
  • Food and beverage spaces, including a lobby restaurant, lounge and limited meeting space;
  • Facility design, construction and operation per Hilton brand standards;
  • Inclusion of green technology in construction;
  • Incorporation of exterior design elements to blend with university architectural features.

The developer will use local legal services and will seek local financing for the project. The estimated cost is $21.3 million. Construction is projected to take between 12 and 16 months, with an anticipated completion date of August 2014.

A hotel adjacent to the Kovalchick Complex has been in discussion since 2007, when the Council of Trustees approved the authorization of a ground lease arrangement for the hotel.

A marketing feasibility study for the Kovalchick Complex completed by Brailsford & Dunlavey in 2005 noted that the facility would increase demand for hotel accommodations well past the existing inventory of 440 hotel rooms in the Indiana area at that time.