Construction began Thursday on a five-story, 140-room Courtyard by Marriott in University Heights.
Planned for about two years, the city’s first hotel will sit on a triangle-shaped tract consisting of three parcels at 901 Melrose Avenue, within walking distance of Kinnick Stadium and the University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics.
Greg Stiltner, president of Stiltner Electric, the project’s developer, said the hotel will include Graze Steak and Seafood as a rooftop restaurant, a Starbucks and 196 off-street parking spaces, 32 of them underground.
Construction is expected to be completed in early August 2020, with the hotel slated to open early that month.
Stiltner said he hopes to form relationships with university hospital officials and the school’s athletics department to help bring more customers to the hotel.
University Heights voters in November 2017 approved a 7 percent hotel-motel tax, from which 50 percent of revenue must be earmarked for promoting tourism.
The city plans to use 90 percent of the remaining half of the revenue on neighborhood housing and infrastructure revitalization.
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Officials estimated in 2017 that the lodging tax could bring in between $300,000 and $350,000 for the city each year.
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