River Centre hotel to be ready in January 2019

Sarah Ann Jump/The Herald
The 84-room Fairfield Inn and Suites hotel is nearing completion on the north side of the Patoka River on the old Jasper Cabinet property at Jackson and Second streets. 


JASPER — Work on Jasper’s River Centre development is chugging along.

The $30 million development-in-progress sits on the north side of the Patoka River on the old Jasper Cabinet property at Jackson and Second streets.

An 84-room Fairfield Inn and Suites hotel is nearing completion in the old block kiln building. The former factory at the other end of the property is undergoing a transformation that will repurpose the structure into a mixed-use space that will house apartments and retail spaces.

Construction of the Fairfield Inn and Suites hotel by General Hotels Corporation of Indianapolis is on track for completion in January 2019. Construction on the mixed-use space is slated to wrap up in the fourth quarter of 2019.

When General Hotels Corporation President Jim Dora last visited the hotel site about a month ago, crews were finishing the exterior panel installation work, enclosing the building and beginning the process of installing the building’s windows. Interior work has also been moving along, including electrical, HVAC and plumbing work.

After physical construction work is finished, the hotel will be thoroughly cleaned, rooms will be furnished and final service training and inspections will be completed in conjunction with representatives from Marriott International, which owns the Fairfield brand.

Dora estimated the hotel will have a soft opening in mid- to late-January, with a ribbon-cutting ceremony and grand opening coming later next year. The goal was originally to open the hotel before the end of 2018, but a delay with bringing in the exterior panels coupled with the incoming holidays pushed back the launch.

“It feels like it’s going real well,” Dora said of the construction. “I would tell you that the trade work and the support we’ve had down there has been very strong in Jasper. We get a lot of great comments from people that are watching the hotel go up and they’re excited about it.”

Jane Hendrickson of Indianapolis-based Boxer Girl LLC, the developer of the River Centre project, said crews are currently working on the roofing and winterizing of the future mixed-use building in the old factory building. The businesses that will set up shop in that building have not yet been finalized.

In addition to the retail and apartment space, Boxer Girl is also replacing the nearby railroad tracks and encapsulating them in concrete, laying a parking lot for the hotel and finishing up a road that will lead to the hotel.

“It’s pretty darn exciting to look back and see how far we really have come,” Hendrickson said of the project’s progress. “Now, this is where it really starts getting fun. It will come off the paper and be reality.”

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