MUNSTER | A symbolic groundbreaking Thursday for the new Hilton Homewood Suites Extended Stay Hotel signaled the start of major development in the northwest section of the Lake Business Center.
The 99-room extended stay facility is expected to open in the fall of 2014 and provide long-term suite-style accommodations for business travelers, said Mitch Simborg developer of the Lake Business Center.
“Besides serving the needs of visitors to the Munster area, it will be in demand by businesses located in the Northwest Indiana region such as Pepsi, Whole Foods, BP, GE, Cargill, ArcelorMittal and Ford,” Simborg said.
The Homewood Suites Extended Stay Hotel “will be a great complement to the Lake Business Center, a class A business park that is unique to the region,” Simborg said about the complex that stretches along Calumet Avenue from the Pepsi Bottling Plant north to Fisher Street.
State Rep. Mara Candelaria Reardon, D-Munster, said this portion of the Lake Business Center development “is setting the stage for our future commuter rail service, creating a transit center that will create jobs and opportunities for the town.”
Proposals to extend South Shore train service from downtown Chicago to Munster have been discussed since 2009. The Lake Business Center is the designated future home for the South Shore Munster train station.
Economic development incentives offered by the town of Munster have been instrumental in the creation of the Lake Business Center and the new extended stay hotel, Candelaria Reardon said.
“This is concrete evidence that those incentives work,” she said.
Munster officials attending the ceremony and manning shovels included Assistant Town Manager Clay Johnson; Joseph Simonetto, town council president and chairman of the redevelopment commission; and John Eddington and David Nellans, town council members and redevelopment commissioners.
Also in attendance was Bud Simborg, founder of Simborg Development and Mitch Simborg’s 80-year old father; architect Travis Bridges of OKW Architects; Zoran Koricanac, vice president/group manager of business banking at Centier Bank, the institution providing financing; Phil Goldberg, vice president and general counsel of Simborg Industrial Real Estate and Cathie Doria, director of sales at Hampton Inn & Suites in Munster.
“Hilton is very enthusiastic about this project,” Doria said of the extended stay facility being built next to the Hampton Inn.
“We have a lot of guests (at the Hampton Inn) who are extended stay guests. Now the Hampton Inn can be for out-of-town guests,” she said. “It’s been a long time coming.”
In addition to construction of The Homewood Suites Extended Stay Hotel, development in this section of the Lake Business Center will include new parking fields for the nearby office building, decorative fencing and landscaping, Mitch Simborg said.