In the heart of downtown Fishers, a project that has been five years in the making broke ground Sept. 2 at 8651 E 116th St. between the Nickel Plate Trail and First Internet Bank building. Construction of the Hotel Nickel Plate is just another way the city is working to grow and develop downtown Fishers and the Nickel Plate District, according to city leaders.
The five-story, 75,000-square-foot boutique hotel is being built in partnership with Browning Investments and the Dora Hotel Co. It will have 116 rooms and will be one of 70 in the Tapestry Collection by Hilton high-end hotels.
Construction is expected to take 18 months. The cost of the project is estimated at $30 million.
Hotel Nickel Plate will also have a restaurant and bar on the first floor called Iron Horse Social. It will have garage doors that can open to outdoor dining and live music, weather permitting. The feature will also allow people to stop off from the Nickel Plate Trail to get a quick bite to eat or grab a drink, Dora Hotel Co. President Tim Dora said.
“(The hotel’s going to be) a cool, funky, trendy hotel that kind of reflects the youth of the community through high quality and high service,” Dora said. “We don’t have a downtown hospitality (business). I think we need it for commercial travelers.”
Dora also said the company, which is only a few blocks from the new hotel, is working to get involved in the community and hopes Hotel Nickel Plate will boost business at other local restaurants and shops. For example, Dora said the hotel plans to partner with Orangetheory Fitness for what they call a “no-shower happy hour” after workouts at the fitness studio. He also
Hotel Nickel Plate is scheduled to open in early 2024, according to Adam Chavers, chief development officer for Browning Investments. The project is part of a larger $157 million development announced by Browning Investments in 2018. Other buildings in the project include the First Internet Bank office and Nickel Plate Station, both of which opened earlier this year.
“All of this on a very small and tightly confined, constricted area just means that every detail matters,” Chavers said. “And so each of these projects that you see the First Internet Bank building, Nickel Plate Station, the apartments across the street, (the hotel) really stepped back and said, ‘How do we engage with this trail and the public traffic to make sure we get as much accessibility and ease of accessibility for the general public, not just the people staying at the hotel?”
Fishers Mayor Scott Fadness, said he hopes the hotel will attract new visitors to Fishers. He also said that it fits perfectly with the larger vision of Fishers that he hopes to see moving forward and adds a unique opportunity for the city to attract more people.
“It adds a different dynamic,” Fadness said. “We’ve built a lot of office buildings, we’ve built a lot of multi-use facilities, but we don’t have a high-end hotel down here. So, it adds another unique feature for downtown and we’ll add more people, which is really important to help all the restaurants and all the businesses to be supported downtown
“So, I think it’s a key component both visually and aesthetically but also economically.”
Dora agreed, and he expects Hotel Nickel Plate, which he compares to the new Bottleworks Hotel on Mass Ave in Indianapolis, to attract many first-time visitors to Fishers.
“It’s going to be fun,” Dora said. “What we’ve found working with other hotels is that for many, this will be their first impression of Fishers and their last impression of Fishers, and we want a really positive first and last impression so they decide maybe to live here or work here or invest here or just play here.”
Investing in the Nickel Plate District
Hotel Nickel Plate is part of a larger $157 million development announced by Browning Investments in 2018. Other buildings in the project include the First Internet Bank office and Nickel Plate Station, both of which opened earlier this year. This will also fit into the city’s larger plan for the Nickel Plate District that is laid out in the 2040 plan which was introduced in 2016. The goal for the Nickel Plate District was to create a sustainable, pedestrian-friendly, downtown where residents and visitors are encouraged to come live, work, and play.