The Enid News and Eagle, Enid, OK

Opinion

February 13, 2014

We’re curious what the new downtown hotel will look like

ENID, Okla. — We’re eagerly anticipating the final piece of Enid’s Renaissance Project, the downtown hotel.

Kansas-based LodgeWell LLC is constructing a $14 million Hilton Garden Inn, adjacent to the new Enid Event Center and renovated Convention Hall.

Until developers unveil their final vision, we’re curious what it will look like.

The city-owned land, home of the Kress building and Cherokee Strip Conference Center before those buildings were razed, is being turned over to LodgeWell.

This four-story, 131-room hotel is a private enterprise, but its existence is made possible through a public-private partnership.

LodgeWell, which has received private financial support, will own and operate the new hotel. Alongside the hotel will be a 250-space parking garage, which the city agreed to build.

The city and LodgeWell initially agreed to keep the historic Kress facade, but it was ultimately deemed too expensive to save.

City Commissioners will have to approve how the hotel looks.

The Enid News & Eagle asked both the city and LodgeWell for updated renderings, but they still aren’t ready.

The architectural design of the hotel, with the attached parking garage, is a bit of a question mark at this late date.

Will this look like the standard Hilton Garden Inn, or will it blend comfortably with the surroundings?

Will it match the art deco influences of the Enid Event Center with Convention Hall and The Non-Profit Center?

Since it’s guaranteed to be a bold presence in downtown Enid, the hotel’s architectural design should balance with the neighboring structures in the square and David Allen Memorial Ballpark.

We want to make sure its appearance fits in a distinguished way to enhance what we believe is the best-looking town square in Oklahoma.

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