Original news story from Kansas City Business Journal

Olathe has plans for a new $51 million, 200-room Embassy Suites Hotel and Conference Center.

The announcement of Olathe’s newest development came during Mayor Michael Copeland’s State of the City Address on Friday at the Holiday Inn Olathe Hotel.

The City Council is expected to vote on March 5 on a preliminary development plan with developer Heart of America Group. The project would be located at the southeast corner of Kansas Highway 10 and Ridgeview Road in the Corporate Ridge Office Park.

“If approved, the State of the City event, and hundreds of others, will happen there,” Copeland said. “Heart of America is currently working to secure the Embassy Suites flag for the hotel that would tower above the Johnson County landscape.”

Heart of America developed the Hilton Garden Inn project at 121st Street and Strang Line Road.

The proposed 175,000-square-foot hotel and adjoining 22,000-square-foot conference center comes before the Olathe City Council not long after the city terminated a development agreement with John Q. Hammonds Hotels.

The parties had an agreement for four years to develop a hotel and conference center. But John Q. Hammonds affiliate JQH-Olathe Development LLC told city officials it could not obtain financing.

The project, which could be as tall as 10 stories, will command a suite of city incentives, according to a city briefing sheet.

About $19.6 million in tax increment financing and community improvement district revenue would be steered back to the project.

A proposed TIF plan would redirect incremental increases in property taxes, 100 percent of the city’s sales tax and 100 percent of the transient guest tax back to the project.

A CID would raise sales taxes 2 percent in the district boundaries. This money would go to pay off as much as $12 million in general obligation bonds issued by the city.

Finally, Olathe may issue industrial revenue bonds to grant sales tax exemptions on the developer’s building materials and equipment purchases.

The city would not own the final product.

The project is expected to open in two years if the proposed development calendar is approved and met.

Meanwhile, the Holiday Inn where Copeland gave his speech will close soon and become a senior housing facility.

The Holiday Inn has had the city’s only conference center.

“We’ve been working on this for a long time,” Copeland said.