City OKs tax abatements for Hampton Inn

By Joseph Slacian

Rahee Hospitality, the group that plans to build a Hampton Inn in Wabash, received two 10-year tax abatements from the Wabash City Council on Monday, Jan. 28.

The council unanimously approved the two abatements, one for real estate and the other for personal property.

Work on the Hampton Inn, which will be located just north of the intersection of Wedcor Avenue and State Road 15, is expected to begin in April and will have a target of May 2020 for completion, according to Raj Chandat, one of the partners in Rahee Hospitality.

Both Chandat and Bindu Patel, another partner in Rahee Hospitality, were at the council meeting. The firm also owns the Holiday Inn Express located just east of the Wabash Village Shopping Center.

“We built the Holiday Inn Express, I would say 1998 or 1999,” Chandat said. “Then we went to Marion, Huntington and now back to Wabash. We think it’s a perfect community to bring a hotel to.

The firm plans to invest roughly $5.5 million in the motel, $4 million for the building and land and the remainder for equipment and furnishings for inside and outside the building, Keith Gillenwater, President and CEO of Grow Wabash County, told the council.

Work on the 91 room motel is expected to begin in April, with a completion date of May 2020.

“The project will be on time if everything goes OK,” Chandat said.

The city’s Investment Review Authority reviewed the request, Gillenwater told the council, and by its ranking system both qualified for the 10-year abatements.

“Anyone who has tried to get a hotel room for family or friends, colleagues know it’s hard to get a room in Wabash,” Council member Mitch Figert said. “They’re frequently sold out. These are going to be very modern, very high quality rooms. I think it will compliment with the shows at the Honeywell Center, guests coming in to visit factories, I think it will be a phenomenal addition to Wabash.”

Council member Eric Schoening said when he first heard of the project, he was concerned about how it would affect the other hotels and motels in the area.

“Yours, the Holiday Inn, was the one I was specifically concerned about about,” he told Chandat and Patel. “Then to find out it’s owned by the same people, really made me think” people are interested in heavily investing in the community.

Council member Bryan Dillon asked if some accommodations would be made near the site to help with traffic flow, possibly putting in a middle turning lane at Wedcor Avenue.

Mayor Scott Long said the Indiana Department of Transportation has State Road 15 on the schedule to be repaved in 2020. The work will go from State Road 16 through Wabash.

“I’ve been in contact with them for a number of months at Wedcor,” he said. “They are going to install a traffic light there. INDOT wants to wait until their road construction project to install the signal. Obviously, there will be sensor pads. If they do it beforehand, then they have to mill it off, they’ll have to buy extra sensor pads.”

However, he continued, Wedcor Avenue will likely be reconstructed west of State Road 15, with the center island being removed.

The Hampton Inn, according to paperwork filed with the city, will create 18 full time and 24 part time jobs.

Posted on 2019 Feb 05