Construction of a new $3.6 million hotel in downtown Yellow Springs is scheduled to begin this week, backed by an owner who hopes a large inn in the village can boost tourism and the village’s economy.
The 24,000 square-foot Mills Park Hotel, 321 Xenia Avenue near Limestone Street, will be upon completion the largest lodging facility in the village. It will include 28 guest rooms and extended-stay suites, an exercise facility, a conference room that will hold up to 20 people and a banquet room that can hold up to 150 people, a cafe or bakery style restaurant and a small retail store.
The ground has been leveled and gravel has been put in place to prepare for the foundation which will be installed this week, said Jim Hammond, a Yellow Springs resident who is funding the project.
Hammond purchased the property in 2012 and hopes to open the hotel in June, 2015, before the annual Yellow Springs Street Fair. He said the hotel could attract more tourists who could turn into prospective residents.
“Hopefully you will get more people to town, and it will convince them to stay,” he said.
Hammond said he found there was a need for larger lodging accommodations and a conference facility while running the Grinnell Mill Bed & Breakfast in the village.
Hammond said potential overflow from the hotel could generate more business for the half dozen bed and breakfasts businesses in the area.
The hotel will create 12 to 16 jobs, Hammond said.
Mills Park Hotel has been modeled after the former Mills House, which was owned by William Mills, the man credited by some for establishing the village, according to the Yellow Springs Heritage website. The hotel is designed to have historical feel and the interior will include artwork and old photos of old buildings in the village, Hammond said.
“We’ll have the big front porch with colonial pillars and a mansion roof with dormers and it will look late 1800s with all modern materials of course,” he said.
Hotel operations will be a family venture, Hammond said. His wife, Libby, will assist with general management of the hotel while their daughter, Katie, will manage the restaurant and handle interior decoration of the building.
The hotel will create new opportunities to host conferences in the village, said Karen Wintrow, the Yellow Springs Village council president and executive director of the Yellow Springs Chamber of Commerce. Now large corporate and academic groups who travel to the village do not have a place to stay. They have to seek accommodations outside of the village.
“We don’t have a lot of accommodations for large groups or large families,” she said.”As much as Yellow Springs is a great attraction and people come here, a lot times people aren’t able to stay in Yellow Springs.”