TownePlace Suites adds to hotel stock in Hilliard

KEVIN CORVO
kcorvo@thisweeknews.com
Vishal Patel (left) and Bhavin Patel (center), managing partners for Evolv Hotels, and Vinny Chanthavong, general manager, stand in the lobby of the new TownePlace Suites that opened July 27 at 4079 Lyman Drive in Hilliard.

One of the two hotels that has been under construction in Hilliard just west of Interstate 270 has opened.

TownePlace Suites, 4079 Lyman Drive, opened July 27 on a portion of the former site of JD Equipment.

The other, an Avid Hotel at the northeast corner of Cemetery Road and Lyman Drive, is expected to open in October.

The TownePlace Suites, a Marriott brand, is the third in central Ohio, said Mark Patel of Evolv Hotels, the construction-management company for TownePlace.

The other locations are in Gahanna and at Easton Town Center in east Columbus.

The COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic delayed the opening of the TownePlace by about a month, but otherwise the project was completed as usual, including a ribbon-cutting ceremony, albeit while people were wearing masks, Patel said.

Innsight Hospitality LLC built the $10.5 million, 94-room TownePlace Suites on 2.5 acres on the west side of Lyman Drive, south of All Seasons Drive and east of Britton Parkway.

The final cost of construction was less than the original projection of $12.6 million, he said.

The TownePlace Suites has an indoor pool, a fitness center and an outdoor grilling area for guests, Patel said.

"All of our suites have a kitchen," Patel said. "We also have a conference room for corporate events."

The conference room may be used to host weddings with up to 60 guests, Patel said.

Hilliard community leaders said they are pleased that a new hotel option has been added to the city's hotel inventory.

"TownePlace Suites offers the travelers to Hilliard with an optimal experience with meeting rooms, full suites, lobby bar, and many other amenities," said Libby Gierach, president and CEO of the Hilliard Area Chamber of Commerce. "We appreciate Evolv Hotels investing in our community to bring a Marriott property to Hilliard."

Tim Kauffman, executive director of Destination Hilliard, said the hotel is "a great addition to Hilliard's hospitality offerings."

"The hotel was so thoughtfully designed and built, offering spacious suites that come fully equipped with kitchens and amenities that provide more of the comforts of home that families and business travelers would value for the night or an extended stay," Kauffman said.

Vinny Chanthavong, general manager of TownePlace Suites, said the opening has presented challenges.

"It's been tough for sure," he said.

Although capacity is not limited, the hotel has limitations on the amenities guests can use, Chanthavong said.

Only eight guests at a time may use the pool, reserved in one-hour blocks, and the number of people in the fitness center is limited to three at a time, he said.

Occupancy was about 25% on the first weekend, he said.

Meanwhile, to the south of TownePlace Suites, final touches are being made to the Avid Hotel. Sujay Mehta of the Hilliard Hotel Group, the developer of the site, described the Avid Hotel as "a new-generation hotel that offers the luxury brand and more affordable pricing."

"We plan to open about Oct. 20. (The pandemic) did delay us," Mehta said.

InterContinental Hotels Group, which operates the Holiday Inn Express brand, franchised the 4-story, 84-room Avid Hotel.

It will be among the approximately 10 Avid Hotels worldwide that have opened or will open this year, according to Mehta, but more "are in the pipeline," he said.

Two are in Oklahoma City and one in Orlando, Florida, Mehta said.

An Avid Hotel also is expected to open in Cincinnati this year.

The decision to push back what had been an opening planned for the spring was twofold, based on both delays in receiving furniture because of the pandemic and waiting for a rise in demand for occupancy, Mehta said.

When the Avid Hotel opens, it will increase the number of hotels in Hilliard to six.

Hilliard also has a Hampton Inn & Suites at 3950 Lyman Drive, a Rodeway Inn at 3950 Parkway Lane, a Homewood Suites at 3841 Park Mill Run Drive and a Best Western Hilliard Inn & Suites at 3831 Park Mill Run Drive.

kcorvo@thisweeknews.com

@ThisWeekCorvo