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'I want to see something we can be proud of': Speedway residents frustrated by stalled hotel construction

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Posted at 5:00 AM, Oct 12, 2022

SPEEDWAY — For more than three years the skeleton of a hotel has sat on the corner of Main and 16th  in the heart of Speedway.

When you think of Speedway, you probably think of excitement, a fast pace and crossing the finish line.

But on the other side of 16th Street its quite the opposite.

“Raw concrete and elevator shafts and that’s it,” Marie Hall said when WRTV spoke to her in October 2019.

We’ve been following the delays of the hotel since then.

“I feel the same way nothing’s been done,” Hall said.

Hall owns a boutique on Main Street. She said she knows she’s not the only one frustrated by the lack of progress.

“Most of the people in Speedway are feeling that way. I know our town council has been working on it but there's got to be something done it's such a valuable piece of property,” Hall said.

“I think it's a little ridiculous and I think it really doesn't show Speedway, in you know, in the way that a Speedway residents would want it us to be projected,” Crystal Lane said.

Lane lives and works in Speedway.

She’s fed up with the project that’s been stalled for more than three years.

“We've had a pandemic; we've had Main Street really revitalized so to speak, a lot of new things are happening on Main Street to really promote positivity of Speedway and I really feel like that is not something on Main Street that is projecting any type of positivity for us,” Lane said.

So when will the project be complete?

“It is the number one question that I get,” Todd Cook, the town’s Economic Developer said.

Cook started a few months ago in July.

“This is certainly a challenge, but I think it's one that we can get across the goal line eventually,” Cook said.

When the project originally started Loftus Robinson was the developer. but after losing their financing Hotel Equities took on the role.

“Hotel Equities had financing lined up and they were ready to close and that lender just changed their model because of the things that are going on in the economy everywhere right now,” Cook said.

According to Cook that left Hotel Equities looking for a new lender for the “broken project.”

WRTV has reached out to Hotel Equities several times in the last month and a half.

Their first email said “We would like to circle up with the town of Speedway before scheduling any interviews at this time. We will be back in touch as soon as possible.”

Since then, we’ve sent several more emails. All have been unanswered.

However, Cook said he talks to hotel equities weekly.

“They're still entertaining financing, adding term sheets occasionally they've gotten at least two additional ones since I've been here but they've not been on the terms that they're looking for,” Cook said.

The sign out front says the Wilshaw Hotel is opening next year, Cook said that’s not likely.

“2023 might be pushing it. I think it’s about an 18-month project,” Cook said.

That’s once they get the financing they need.

On Aug. 8, Nick Montague with Hotel Equities updated the town council via Zoom.

During that time, he told council members Hotel Equities has $5 million of their own capital invested and are committed to the project.

“They remain hopeful that they'll get it done and we're hopeful too,” Cook said.

While they remain hopeful, Hall and Lane remain frustrated.

“I really think that Speedway needs to step up to the plate and really you know either get a new developer to complete that project,” Lane said.

“That corner is so valuable and such an eyesore no one can understand maybe it's not meant to be a hotel maybe it's meant to be something else,” Hall said. “I want to see something we can be proud of.

In that Aug. 8meeting Hotel Equities said their first goal is securing financing

Once that’s done, they can:

  • Complete the updated drawings
  • Re-price the project
  • Move towards construction

In the meantime, WRTV will continue to stay on top of this project and continue to reach out to the town and Hotel Equities for updates.
PREVIOUS | April 2019:New hotel opens in Speedway and another is on the way | September 2019:Work on Speedway hotel to resume soon for a 2020 summer opening | October 2019:Stalled hotel construction project in Speedway frustrates residents | December 2019:RTV6 getting answers as deadline approaches for response from Speedway hotel developer | January 2020:Six months later, Speedway still waiting for construction to continue on hotel | July 2020:Community still waiting on hotel project in Speedway | September 2020:New life for stalled Speedway hotel project | November 2021: Construction to finally resume next spring on stalled Speedway hotel project