PADUCAH — A new hotel in downtown Paducah could be a reality in the next few years. While there isn't an official blueprint of the plans, there is a possible layout for a hotel downtown by the riverfront with 80 to 120 rooms.
In the plan, it shows green space and other buildings in what is currently a parking lot at 2nd Street and Broadway.
The parking lot is currently home to hundreds of parking spaces and a gazebo on the corner that's often used by local artists.
Local business owners have created a petition asking for the city to reconsider the location of the hotel. The main issue is parking.
The parking lot on 2nd and Broadway is one of the main parking locations for downtown Paducah. It's nearly full most days.
Several local business owners believe if they put a hotel there, people might stop coming downtown, because they'd have nowhere to park.
"That's where we get our business. People park in there and come across the street," said PAPA Gallery President Dutch Thurman. She said putting a hotel there would be bad for business. "There's so many empty buildings downtown that to me could be changed into shops, even space for a hotel," Thurman said. "You just have to wonder if that's the wisest thing to do is take away parking places when there are so many other places available."
Paducah Planning Director Tammara Tracy said even with a hotel there, they would make sure to keep public parking spaces in the lot. There would just be fewer than there were before.
You can find the petition in the Paducah Antique Mall. The petition claims the city's proposed plan will hurt business, change the quaintness of downtown, and threaten the events that take place in that lot.
"If it's in that parking lot, I don't know where they would put Barbecue On The River," said Mister Penguin Tuxedo co-owner Den Vincent Hathcock. He hasn't heard much about the plan.
Tracy said even with the hotel, Barbecue On The River would still be held in the same place. The hotel might change the layout of the event.
Hathcock thinks in the end, the hotel would be good for business. "I don't see anything wrong with it. It would help the quilters and all. The hotel would help the revenue around here as well," Hathcock said.
Don't expect to see anything change too soon. Tracy said it'll probably be years before we see ground break.
The hotel project is apart of the tax increment financing district that we've told you about before. Tracy said they're working with Weyland Ventures, a company out of Louisville, to design and develop the project, but the city is not paying for the project.
All of the investment will come from Weyland Ventures.
The city's goal with the TIF district, which includes this project, is to eventually get more tax revenue from places like a hotel and put that money back into the district.