Ambassador Hotel Gets Incentive Nod for $14.9 Million Expansion, Work to Begin Soon

The addition to the Ambassador Hotel will replace a parking lot on the south side of the existing hotel.

By Kevin Collison

The owner of the Ambassador Hotel at 1111 Grand plans to break ground on a nine-story addition this fall after receiving approval for tax incentives last week.

The $14.9 million project will add 70 rooms to the 43-room boutique hotel that opened in the historic Gate City National Bank Building in 2012.

Paul Coury, founder of Tulsa-based Coury Properties, told the Planned Industrial Expansion Authority last week the additional rooms are needed to make the hotel more profitable. The additional rooms would be served by the existing hotel staff.

“We have the same overhead for 43 rooms as 113,” Coury said.

The Ambassador opened in the historic Gate City National Bank Building in 2012.

The addition is being designed by iCON architects of Kansas City and Centric Properties is the general contractor. It will occupy what’s currently a surface parking lot.

The new tower will be built above the existing parking lot, retaining 35 spaces. An additional 50 parking spaces are being leased at an adjoining lot, although Coury said many guests utilize Uber, taxi’s and other modes of transportation.

The PIEA authorized a 20-year property tax abatement for the project, 10-years at 75 percent, and 10-years at 37.5 percent. The incentive meets the new city guidelines.

Even with the abatement, the property tax will rise from the current $7,000 annually to $45,000 for the first 10 years and $103,000 the following 10.

The addition is expected to be completed by summer 2019. It will complete the redevelopment of the east side of Grand between 11th and 12th streets.

The historic Professional Building at 11th and Grand was redeveloped as apartments more than a decade ago and the former Traders on Grand office building at 12th and Grand is being redeveloped into 203 apartments.

In addition, the former Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City building at 11th and Grand is slated to be renovated as a hotel, part of a wave of new hotel construction occurring downtown including a new convention hotel project.

The new addition will complete the redevelopment of the east side of Grand between 11th and 12th streets.