Construction is expected to begin this spring on a new Holiday Inn Express at the Quad-City International Airport, the hotel’s developer said.
Dan Huber, the president and one of the owners of the Davenport-based Frontier Hospitality Group, said the project is in the planning and design stages but the company has been approved for a Holiday Inn Express flag.
“We intend to start construction in the spring of 2013 and anticipated being done nine months later,” he said, predicting a spring 2014 opening.
“There hasn’t been a Holiday Inn or Holiday Inn Express in Moline for a number of years,” he said, adding that it also is the first Holiday Inn Express for Frontier, whose holdings also include the Best Western Plus Steeplegate Inn in Davenport.
Huber said the project will go out to contractor bids when the design work is complete.
Plans calls for a limited service hotel of about 100 rooms, much like the neighboring Hampton Inn & Suites. It will serve breakfast, but not have a full-scale restaurant. The hotel, valued at $8 million to $10 million, will be built north of the airport terminal and west of the Hampton Inn.
Huber predicts a mix of business and leisure travelers. “I think the airport location creates an opportunity for interstate travelers as well as airport traffic.”
Frontier, which is owned by Huber and Bart Baker, also owns and operates the Best Western Plus Dubuque Hotel & Conference Center and the Champps Americana Restaurant & Bar, also in Dubuque.
At a Rock Island County Metropolitan Airport Authority meeting this week, airport officials said the airport is moving forward with getting the necessary approvals from the Federal Aviation Administration, or FAA, for the new development. Bryan Johnson, the airport’s assistant aviation director, said the FAA must weigh in on environmental issues, a land release for non-aeronautical use and air space issues. He said all the FAA approvals should be completed by the end of February or early March.
“Technically, we are landlords of the airport. It essentially is federal aviation property,” Johnson said, adding that any development on the airport must receive FAA approval.
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“There are lots of approvals along the way — local approvals, FAA approvals, and the design has to be approved by Holiday Inn,” Huber said, describing the actions as “fairly routine.”
In addition, a new boundary agreement is in the works between the airport, the city of Moline and Rock Island County that involves possibly annexing the land on which the hotel will be built into the city. It and the Hampton Inn are considered to be in unincorporated Rock Island County.
Moline City Attorney Maureen Riggs declined to comment on the agreement, saying it was premature to discuss the details.
But Johnson said the airport expects the agreement to receive approval from all the entities involved by the end of February.
In August, the airport approved a ground lease with Frontier in which the hotel would pay a minimum rent of $45,750 a year, or 2.3 percent of its gross room rentals, whichever is higher. The airport would continue to own the ground.