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Hotel Elkhart renovation project to be completed in 2020

ELKHART, Ind. -- A newly renovated hotel could soon become a reality in downtown Elkhart by early 2020.

The Major Moves Expenditure Review Committee met Wednesday afternoon to make a recommendation to city council for a $600 thousand dollar loan to help with the Hotel Elkhart renovations.

It’s an iconic and historic building that the city of Elkhart wants to keep alive.

The plan to renovate Hotel Elkhart has been in the works since October of 2017.

Director of Development Services, Crystal Welsh, says that the developers now have to address issues they didn’t anticipate, like replacing the elevators.

“At that point in time, the total investment was closer to $10-$12 million dollars,” said Welsh. “Since that time, the new investment is estimated at $14.5 million dollars.”

The City of Elkhart initially awarded the developer a loan of $1.5 million dollars, but now the developers are asking for an extra $600 thousand dollars.

Linda Rupnow, whose business has been right across the street from Hotel Elkhart since 1985 is excited for this renovation.

“It’s great for people who come into the community to see our events,” said Rupnow. “It’s great, I mean, we have lots of places to eat, lots of places for retail. [The project] is a plus,” said Rupnow as she gave the renovations two thumbs up.

The Hotel Elkhart project is supposed to take about 18 months and will have 93 rooms available.

Welsh says that the developer hopes to start on some of the internal demolitions this year.

“Having a hotel in downtown Elkhart is critical for our economic development,” said Welsh. “You know, we want to be a place where visitors come, and that our residents have availability for their guests and family to stay.”

Some officials are hoping city council will approve these funds by the end of September.

Some residents, who chose not to go on camera, were indifferent to the project.

Others are excited, and one thought the building should become a homeless shelter.

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