A developer for a middle class hotel chain is targeting Blair for its next project and is seeking to land investors.

Tim Stuart, owner and head developer for Boulders Development, said the company wants to build a $3.6 million, 40-room hotel in Blair. The company would need approximately $750,000 of local investment to partner with outside equity to allow the project to move forward, he said.

Boulders Development, which is based in Denison, Iowa, has developed and opened 16 hotels, primarily in Iowa, with one near Maryville, Mo. It has since partnered with Cobblestone Hotels.

“The hotel in Blair may be a Boulders Inn and Suites, but it may be a Cobblestone Hotel. It will be one or the other,” Stuart said.

The developer has yet to purchase land in Blair. However, Stuart said, the company could build on one of two sites in Hayden Place, which is next to Walmart.

“We're certainly not going to acquire land until we have a pretty good idea that we have the needed equity or will be able to raise the needed equity,” he said.

If investors come forward, Stuart said a hotel could be open as soon as late 2020.

“Based on where we are now, we'd be looking at raising the needed equity here through the second half of 2019,” he said. “We could look at then, over the winter months, finalizing the plans, the financials needed, etc., in order to make the project happen and then we could start construction in 2020.”

Stuart said Boulders Development was contacted in early 2017 about potentially building in Blair.

In May 2016, AmericInn, a mid-scale hotel chain based in Chanhassen, Minn., announced it was seeking investors for a hotel in Blair. That project, which was to be built on an approximately 2-acre lot in Hayden Place, never came to fruition.

A hotel feasibility study was conducted by Gateway Development Corp. in 2014. The need for a hotel in Blair comes mostly from larger employers like Cargill.

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