INDIANAPOLIS (Diya TV) — Bharat Patel’s Sun Development & Management Corp. will soon begin construction of two new Indianapolis-area hotels, one of which will be built on the site of the city’s oldest African American church. Overall, the cost of the two hotels will cost approximately $30 million.
The project will add more than 200 new rooms to the downtown district’s lodging inventory, according to the Indianapolis Business Journal.
The church, Bethel African Methodist Episcopal Church is located in the downtown’s west side, and was built in 1869. It has served the black community at its current location for nearly 150 years, but dwindling membership and an aging building coupled with the rising cost of repairs are forcing the congregation to sell the historic property.
Patel’s plans, as submitted, called for two hotels to be built on the site — one of the hotels will be installed in a refurbished version of the already existing structure of the church, the other to be built next door. The second hotel would include three levels of parking and roughly 10,000 square feet of retail space.
“I think it will be a dynamite development along the canal,” said Patel. “That quadrant (of downtown) doesn’t have enough hotels.”
The closest hotels in the downtown district are the Marriott’s Courtyard at the Capital and its Residence Inn, both across the canal from Bethel. Patel expects the two hotels will total 200 rooms and serve visitors to IUPUI, the hospitals on the campus, and the NCAA headquarters along the canal to the south, according to the Journal’s report.
As an incentive, Patel has offered an additional $50,000 per year over the next 10 years to the Bethel congregation to help aid their efforts in the construction of a new church.