Closings: Schools, churches, day-cares and businesses

Hotel construction booming in St. Louis City to help attract conventions

ST. LOUIS – Hotel construction is booming in the City of St. Louis, but most people have no idea what's going on. However, that potential for growth is expected to pay dividends with convention business in the days ahead.

“Right now, there are 13 (hotels) planned. The aggregate total is approximately $750 million worth of construction,” said Harry Lunt, senior vice president of sales and marketing for Innkeeper Hospitality Services, LLC.

Lunt said the new Hotel St. Louis is the first new hotel to be built in the city in about 15 years. Owner Amrit Gill bought the old Union Trust Building for $3.3 million and has put $62 million into it. The luxury hotel will open in December 2018.

But that's just one example of the resurgence.

“Loews will be the first new brand in St. Louis. We'll be the first Marriott Autograph Collection in St. Louis. There is a Hyatt proposed to go in next to the Stifel Theatre,” Lunt said. “So, a lot of first-time brands.”

Construction on the new Cortex Aloft Hotel began Thursday as the tech corridor has seen growth. Explore St. Louis said a new 2,000 sleeping rooms on top of the 7,000 they already have will be critical to competing with other cities for convention business.

“I think nobody has any clue to the explosion of projects happening in downtown St. Louis and in Midtown,” Lunt said.

It's not just the new hotels being constructed—places like Hotel St. Louis, which will have 140 rooms, 52 suites, and a rooftop pool—bringing in those kinds of jobs.

“Between Midtown and downtown, depending on who you ask, there is close to $6 billion worth of renovation that is happening in the St. Louis area, that doesn’t include the county,” Lunt said.

In addition, 800 new apartments will be available at the old Chemical Building and Railway Exchange on 7th and Olive, right next to Hotel St. Louis.

Lunt said people who have heard about the projects say they have a renewed sense of confidence in the city because there is work being done to move forward and get better