A Holiday Inn & Suites being built on the site of the former Truman Hotel in Jefferson City could be open by the end of March.
Ada Hatzios, a spokeswoman for Holiday Inn parent company InterContinental Hotels Group, told the News Tribune the 131-room hotel at 1590 Jefferson St. will open by the end of the first quarter.
Vivek Puri, executive vice president and general counsel of hotel owner Puri Group Enterprises which is redeveloping the Truman Hotel site, did not return calls seeking comment.
Construction at the site is ongoing. On Friday afternoon, several construction vehicles sat in the freshly paved parking lot. Most signage is up, and windows are seen with plastic wrap on them. At night, the hotel's green lights now shine over the front entrance and marquee.
Hatzios first told the News Tribune in October the hotel would open by the end of the fourth quarter of 2018. On Friday, she said she did not know why construction took longer than planned and referred the News Tribune to Puri.
"It is common for construction timelines to get pushed back," Hatzios said in an email.
Jefferson City building official Larry Burkhardt said PGE is moving furniture into the hotel and setting rooms.
"They're working from the top down," Burkhardt said. "It's progressing, there's just a lot of stuff to do."
In 2017, the Jefferson City Housing Authority approved a 10-year property tax abatement after PGE agreed to redevelop an area deemed blighted. A report prepared for the Jefferson City Council in February 2017 outlined the two-step process in which the project would unfold.
Construction on the first phase of the plan began in September 2017 when work commenced on the Holiday Inn & Suites. The hotel will have guest amenities and a conference room worth at least $8 million, according to building permits filed with Jefferson City last year.
Cheerleader Pub & Grill, a chain restaurant owned by PGE, will eventually build a restaurant on the site, according to an application for the project filed in early 2017. Later, a 20,000-square-foot conference center will be built between the Holiday Inn & Suites and a second unnamed hotel.
As the new hotel rises around the surrounding community, two derelict Truman Hotel buildings remain on an adjoining parcel at 1510 Jefferson St.
During the second phase, the final two Truman Hotel buildings will be demolished, according to the plan from February 2017. A new parking lot will also be built around the second hotel.
When finished, the project will cost about $56 million.
PGE still plans to demolish the remaining Truman Hotel structures and build the second phase, but Burkhardt's office has not received any demolition permits for the site yet, he said.
"Nothing has been submitted at this time," Burkhardt said.
Once construction is complete, PGE will need to get a certificate of occupancy from the city before the hotel can be opened. After developers complete projects, the city awards certificates of occupancy once all appropriate building inspections are complete, Burkhardt said.
"That is just a natural part of the process," he said. "It allows me to close out the (building) permit."