Things are not proceeding particularly well for the Harrison Square Project. I am certain the project will be done; however, some of the assumptions our City used will now have to be changed.
I still have not been allowed to see any of the financial information underlying the project in spite of filing 12 Information Requests.
Realize that when the project was first studied it was to be a 360 room hotel, then a 300 room hotel, and now it is a 250 room hotel. In my mind 250 rooms is plenty; however, they have used larger hotels for many of their projections and studies in the past. I have to wonder if they have updated their financial projections and studies to account for the smaller number of hotel rooms? My guess is that this smaller hotel will cause the % of the project paid for by the taxpayers to increase.
A Courtyard by Marriott has been selected. Realize that the City has continually stated that the hotel will almost assuredly be a higher end Marriott. In my mind a Courtyard by Marriott is a good fit for Fort Wayne. I once again have to wonder how a lower end hotel will effect their projections? A lower end hotel draws different clients who have different spending patterns. The earlier projections and studies assumed a higher end hotel. My guess is that this "lower end" hotel will cause the % of the project paid for by the taxpayers to increase.
At the City Council meeting where Harrison Square was approved the City Council was told that they had to vote on the issue "right away" because the City had to have a hotel deal in place by the end of May in order for the hotel to open on time... That deadline was missed in a big way. My guess is that the deadline has been missed since the City wanted a a different hotel then what the Developer had planned to build since day one.
Since my tax dollars are going to be used on this project I certainly hope that it succeeds.
The news about the project in the last couple of months has not been encouraging.
The more I have been able to learn about the project the more I have come to realize that its chances of success are almost nil...