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The Journal Gazette

Tuesday, September 13, 2016 9:53 am

'Most spectacular' hotel planned

Rosa Salter Rodriguez | The Journal Gazette

Fort Wayne’s far north side is in for a new, upscale hotel "that will be the most spectacular hotel Fort Wayne has ever seen," according to its developer.

Glenn Conkling, owner of Dominion Group Partners, Fort Wayne, said Wednesday a seven-story dual-branded Hilton – actually two hotels in one building – will ultimately anchor a proposed multiuse commercial center called Parkside.

The development is proposed for the 10500 to 10700 blocks of Diebold Road, according to an application for rezoning and a primary development plan filed Tuesday with the Allen County Plan Commission.

The location is just south and east of the Parkview Regional Medical Center campus and Parkview Family Park.

Conkling said the hotel – a Hilton Garden Inn and a suite-style extended-stay hotel – is being designed to serve visitors to Parkview and the Parkview Mirro Center for Research and Innovation.

"The reason it’s where it is and is upscale is because of Parkview," Conkling said. "There are 4,000 people who work there and people visiting there daily, and their expectation for lodging is higher."

Prospective users of the hotel will include people doing business with Parkview, prospective employees and physicians and others who train at the Mirro Center, as well as families of patients.

"There are a number of surgical training rooms there (at Mirro), and the number of physicians coming in from around the country and actually the world is unbelievable," Conkling said. 

Mirro officials "are wanting their experience in Fort Wayne to be consistent with the quality of the training they offer and have been having trouble with the lodging part," he said.

The new hotel will have 160 rooms and suites, including penthouse suites with access to a rooftop terrace, Conkling said. That’s about double the size of a typical roadside hotel, he said.

The hotel will have amenities including a first-floor wine bar, and "architecturally, it will be comparable to the Parkview campus," Conkling said. An outdoor pond with a fountain and color-changing lights is planned for the back of the property, he said.

The plan is ultimately to include a number of restaurants "new to Fort Wayne" and none featuring fast food, and a fitness center, Conkling said.

"This is among the most exciting projects I’ve ever worked with," Conkling said, adding it has occupied much of his time for the past year. 

A down-zoning from Commercial 3 to Commercial 2 is being sought. The hotel will take up 16.75 acres of the nearly 70-acre Parkside site. An architect’s rendering will be available soon, Conkling said.

A public hearing on the project will take place in July.

Groundbreaking could take place by September, if necessary approvals are gained, Conkling said.