South Locust Street in Grand Island will look a little different about a year from now when a new three-story, 58-room hotel is completed.
The MainStay Suites will be sandwiched between two other hotels, but its owners say they're looking for a different kind of customer.
Developers say the building project in southern Grand Island has been more than two years in the making. The idea started as an RV park, but owner Nathan DeLaet says a study showed Grand Island's need for something like MainStay.
"We still want to gear toward long-term stays, but just do it in a hotel fashion where people can have kind of an apartment-style feel when they're staying somewhere, be able to cook their own meals," says DeLaet.
Long-term customers can mean anything from a few days to weeks-long stays. DeLaet says people on business trips or new residents searching for permanent housing are among the users of this kind of hotel.
"Might be getting a job here or might be displaced by a fire or a flood in their house, and we have a place for them to stay here that is going to be about as close to home as you can get and stay in a hotel," he says.
Business leaders say Thursday morning's ground breaking is progress for South Locust Street, an area they've wanted to see some changes.
"This is an over $4 million project, so that in and of itself is very important for the community, and it's a sign of what we have going on in Grand Island – continued growth and development," says GI Area Chamber of Commerce President Cindy Johnson.
DeLaet says they hope their project can spur more business too.
"From my aspect, I don't want to see too many more hotels go in, but we'd obviously like to see something go on that corner right out on the other side of Rodeway Inn, and we'd like to see a lot more stuff develop in this area, and we think that it could and would be successful," says DeLaet.
The owners also own and manage the Rodeway Inn, MainStay's next door neighbor, but the new facility will create at least a dozen new jobs, something else Johnson says GI wants to see.
"You have that rolling impact of the employees now have disposable income, so they're spending money in the community, and it just keeps trickling down," says Johnson.
MainStay Suites should be open this time next year.