GOSHEN — While plans to add boutique hotel rooms and a brewpub to the Hawks building in downtown Goshen seem to be moving forward, some hotel owners say adding another hotel could harm Goshen’s hospitality industry.
The redevelopment commission met June 19 for a special meeting to discuss a list of incentives for the purchase of the north side of the Hawks Building.
During a meeting June 10, Hawks 1886 LLC proposed buying the north side of the building at 215 W. Madison St., where it plans to open a boutique hotel and a brew pub.
LaCasa Inc. currently owns the Hawks building and broke ground in April to develop the south side of the building into apartments for artists and entrepreneurs.
Hawks 1886 wants to invest $3.8 million for the construction of the hotel and the brew pub. The plan is for Hydraulic Ale Works, the brew pub, to be housed in the first floor of the building and to have outdoor seating. Artifax Hotel will have 25 rooms covering the second and third floors.
The list of requested incentives includes a 10-year tax abatement, the transfer of a loan that was initially assigned for LaCasa Inc. when it purchased the building and parking spaces.
During the meeting, however, Scott Baker and his fiancée, Sarah Irons, stood up to talk about what an additional hotel in the Goshen would mean for other hotel owners in the area. A few other hotel owners from the area also attended the meeting.
Baker, owner of the Best Western Inn at 900 Lincolnway E., told the commission one of his concerns is that there is a tax that hotels with more than 30 rooms must pay. Artifax Hotel, with 25 rooms, would dodge the tax requirements, having the advantage of charging guests less than other hotels in the area.
Baker also said that though hotels in this area had a good year in 2013, this year has been slower. Adding competition when other hotels are struggling does not seem fair, Baker said.
"Less rooms are being used, and we want another hotel?“ added Irons.
Hawks 1886 will continue negotiations with the board before any are signed.
The redevelopment commission will meet again on July 10 for its regular meeting.
•The redevelopment commission authorized community development director Mark Brinson to execute an agreement with Genesis Products for the purchase of real estate of the former Western Rubber Company.