Hotel project follows businesses to southwest Johnson County

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Kansas City Business Journal
Rob Roberts

A partnership led by the owner of Kansas City-based Independence Lodging Co. is planning to invest $11 million to $12 million to develop the Hampton Inn Hotel and Conference Center in Gardner.

A site plan for the project received a unanimous recommendation for approval on Tuesday by the Gardner Planning Commission. Gardner Hospitality LLC’s plan calls for an 84-room hotel with 8,200 square feet of meeting space near the southeast corner of Cedar Niles Road and Santa Fe Street. It is expected to open in fall 2018.

“We are looking forward to moving ahead,” Deepak Parmar, owner of Independence Lodging and a principal with Gardner Hospitality, said in a release. “We chose this site in Gardner because of recent growth in the area, and we think it’s the right fit for the community.”

Gardner is at the heart of an exploding employment base in southwest Johnson County, Gardner Mayor Chris Morrow said in the release.

“Located along I-35 with easy access to New Century AirCenter to the north and Logistics Park Kansas City to the south, this project is well positioned to meet growing demand for quality hotel and meeting space,” Morrow said.

The hotel and conference center project now advances to the Gardner City Council and, upon its approval there, must get clearance from the Federal Aviation Administration (because of its proximity to the airport) and Johnson County Planning Commission.

If the approval process proceeds as expected, groundbreaking will take place in June or July.

Local economic development officials are looking forward to the project, noting that the current lack of hotel and meeting space in the area is a common concern voiced by current and prospective southwest Johnson County employers.

“This project will be an important tool in helping the (Southwest Johnson County Economic Development Corp.) attract and retain business,” Greg Martinette, president of the EDC, said in the release. “With companies like Amazon, Kubota and CenturyLink bringing thousands of workers and executives to the area, demand for room nights most certainly will continue to grow.”