Revamping corner for new business part of hotel plan

Tuesday, January 14, 2003

Business Today

Midamerica Hotels isn't leveling the 40-year-old Holiday Inn just to make way for a smaller Holiday Inn Express - it also wants to create prime retail space for other commercial ventures, including as many as five new restaurants, the Cape Girardeau-based company said Jan. 9.

"That is probably one of the best intersections between St. Louis and Memphis," Midamerica president Dan Drury said. "Some of the best tracts in town are the parking lots in front of Holiday Inn. We're wanting to take advantage of that. It's really a re-structuring of that whole corner."

Drury said they want to develop about 12 acres near the corner of William and Mount Auburn.

Midamerica owns the property from the Holiday Inn to Doctor's Park. The new hotel will take up about two acres of that property.

There is no time frame for the restaurant development, Drury said, but said there are plans for about five. He added that restaurants will be built as demand warrants. Drury said they have had discussions with interested parties ranging from fast food to sit-down restaurants. No deals have been signed yet, he said.

Bob Hahn, vice president of development at Midamerica, said there's also room for other retail businesses on the property, and that they are looking at certain retail, service and financial ventures. He said as many as two restaurants could be open by the time the new hotel is complete in late 2004.

"This development is only going to grow as fast as the city grows," Hahn said. "There are a number of restaurants in the city already. But as Cape expands its business community to our area of influence, there will be more opportunity for development."

The Holiday Inn Convention Center is not going to be taken down with the rest of the hotel, Drury said, though he would not speak to its long-term future.

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