(EVANSVILLE, IN) October 6, 2009 - The final contract for the sale of the land and buildings of the Executive Inn has been signed by Browning Hotel Associates and United Central Bank of Texas, the current owner of the property. With that step in place, the Redevelopment Commission this morning approved the purchase of a portion of the property from Browning for the construction of the new downtown arena. These steps will make way for demolition to begin sometime in late October or early November.
“The sale of the Executive Inn will close one chapter on the history of downtown Evansville while another one is opened. In its place will be a modern hotel with all the expected amenities being developed by Browning. Not only will the new hotel and our new arena transform the heart of our City, they will help improve the quality of life for our entire community,” said Mayor Jonathan Weinzapfel.
Browning will redevelop the tower which faces Walnut Street into a yet-to-be-named national flag, 3-star hotel. The hotel tower which faces 6th Street, the hotel pool and its conference rooms will be demolished in order for the City to build the arena.
“We’re pleased to be purchasing this asset as an integral component of the City of Evansville’s downtown arena project. Despite the overall economic situation, good projects backed by both public and private initiatives continue to make sense. We look forward to a successful project with the City of Evansville,” said James W. Browning, Vice President, Browning Hotel Associates.
Under the terms of the contract between Browning and the Redevelopment Commission, Browning will deliver to the City the land needed for the arena and they will also make the repairs necessary to return the Walnut Street tower to a condition which will allow it to reopen. The total payment to Browning for the arena property, the demolition and their work to retain the
value of the surviving hotel tower is $11.9 million.
The land purchase agreement also contemplates a more specific Hotel Development Agreement being finalized in the next few months which will establish the additional details necessary to bring the structure up to the standards for a 3-star brand, including a new exterior appearance and the rebuilding of a swimming pool and meeting rooms. It is estimated that the private investment in the hotel project will total approximately $30 million.