Hotel 901 plans full-service hotel entry in University Heights

Jun 26, 2019

The investment group Hotel 901 will break ground at 4 p.m. Thursday for a long-awaited Courtyard by Marriott that will bring a full slate of amenities and a select Marriott brand to University Heights.

The hotel at 901 Melrose Ave. will feature Graze restaurant, known for its downtown Iowa City location, on its sixth floor, and a rooftop patio with views of the University of Iowa's Kinnick Stadium and Stead Children's Hospital. Plans are being finalized for a first floor restaurant that will offer breakfast and potentially a buffet lunch. Event spaces will include 2,400 square feet on the top-level sixth-floor and a 2,300 square feet in the lower level. Additional amenities will include a swimming pool, hot tub, workout facility and bar. An underground parking garage will provide 33 of the 176 total parking spaces.

The hotel is being developed by Hotel 901, led by Greg Stiltner and Jim Glasgow. The location just across Melrose Avenue from the University of Iowa will set it apart in an increasingly crowded Iowa City-Coralville area hotel market, Mr. Stiltner said.

Graduation guests, athletics guests, hospital guests, concert guests, and pharmaceutical college guests are expected to make up a large segment of the clientele.

"We hope to greet everybody," Mr. Stiltner said of the property, expected to open in fall of 2020.

Hotel 901 is the same investment group behind the Spring Hill Suites that opened in 2017 near Coral Ridge Mall at 1001 25th Ave., Coralville. Efforts to launch the University Heights projects began almost three years ago, in August of 2016. Although the timing was not good, Mr. Stiltner said the investors had the rare opportunity to buy a single parcel of four acres across from the University of Iowa with only one small house requiring demolition.

The need to address the desires of University Heights leaders and residents that the project not interfere with the community's residential quality of life extended the time frame for the project significantly, Mr. Stiltner said. But with the necessary approvals in hand, the Courtyard by Marriott will be "amazing for the (city) budget," Mr. Stiltner said, because the developers did not ask for tax increment financing or other incentives.

Designed by Rohrbach Associates of Iowa City, the project will be built by SG Construction Co. of West Burlington.


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