Grand plans are underway for a multi-million dollar project in downtown Sioux City.
For the first time in decades, The Warrior Hotel near 6th and Nebraska, sees new life.
Construction crews started a major renovation in early January, that also includes the nearby Davidson building.
“I think the beauty in this, is we’re bring back the elegance and beauty that was lost in Sioux City,” said Amy Gill.
Amy Gill and her husband Amrit renovate historic buildings for a living. Their company Restoration St. Louis transformed at least 400 of them over the years, including the Blackhawk Hotel in Davenport.
The Sioux City project, at $73 million is one of their largest. The plan includes a Marriot Hotel, retail space, bowling alley, restaurants, spa and luxury apartments. Two-hundred jobs created.
“It’s a facility that Sioux City can ill afford not to have in operation because it will be a net gain for the economy,” said Amrit Gill.
Developer Lew Weinberg from Sioux City, reached out to the Gills, a couple of years ago to develop the project. The Gills hope to have the Warrior Hotel and nearby Davidson building done by the summer of 2020.
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Mayor Bob Scott and representatives from the Siouxland Chamber joined forces with The Warrior hotel and Davidson Building renovators Amy and Amrit Gill of Restoration St. Louis at the official groundbreaking ceremony this morning. The ribbon-cutting, preceded by a brief ceremony inside, occurred in front of the main entrance to the hotel, at 6th and Nebraska.
“The restoration of the Warrior Hotel is arguably the most significant project we’ll see in downtown Sioux City in our lifetime,” said Sioux City Mayor Bob Scott during the ceremony. “With a $73 million price tag, we appreciate the dedication of Lew Weinberg and investment of Restoration St. Louis, Inc. and the State of Iowa to make this renovation a reality.”
As part of the celebratory renovation kick-off, the Gills announced they are looking for photos and written recounts of treasured memories experienced by guests and locals at both locations as part of their $73 million restoration project. The 10-story art deco-style hotel and six-story neighboring building will open in the fall of 2020 as the Warrior Hotel and Davidson Apartments under the Auspices of an Autograph Collection Hotels by Marriott, the first in Sioux City.
Both The Warrior and Davidson properties, built in 1930 and 1913, respectively, have been vacant for the past 40 years, and are listed on the National Register of Historical Places. The St. Louis-based restoration company began developing the properties in May 2017 and closed on the financing in December 2018. Funding for the renovation project is supported by nearly $18 million in assistance approved by the Iowa Department of Economic Development, including $16.5 million in State Historic Tax Credits and $5 million in the form of loans and grants from the City of Sioux City.
“We appreciate the fact that we are part of an ongoing community revitalization effort that is at the heart of Sioux City’s urban renaissance. These two grand dame buildings are part of the city’s cultural fabric, cherished not only for their architectural wonders but for the treasured memorable moments created by those who have ascended the grand staircase for their own weddings, family celebrations and experiences,” said Amy Gill, co-founder of Restoration St. Louis. “We try to stay as true to the original designs as possible during our building renovations, repurposing what we can, all the while trying to discover the meaning behind structural decisions made so long ago. Knowing what made these structures so personally significant to Sioux City residents helps us bring the building back to life in an even more authentic way.”
Working in association with BSI Constructors, Inc., FEH Architects, and Checkmate Design, Restoration St. Louis plans to restore the original terra cotta ornamentation and brick exterior of the buildings, including the infamous Warrior icons, and ornate buffalo heads. The sweeping grandeur of the two-story marble staircase, along with its unique plaster detail work and ornamental railings, will also be authentically restored.
When completed, the Warrior Hotel will feature148 guest rooms with TOTO washlettes, 11 suites, 22 luxury apartments, a second-floor full-service restaurant, and a signature ballroom featuring a terrace. The hotel will also feature a luxurious spa and wellness center, including a large swimming pool, sauna, and fitness center with yoga classes. An art deco-themed bowling area and lounge will be available for corporate team building and fun nightlife in the downtown area. The Davidson Apartments will have an additional 56 hotel rooms on the second through fourth floors, 20 luxury one- to two-bedroom apartments, two one-bedroom lofts, and street-level commercial space opening onto 6th and Pierce.
Since 1991, the Gills have renovated buildings designed by some of the country’s most significant architects, including Louis Sullivan, Daniel Burnham, William Eames and Thomas Young, and Frank Lloyd Wright, who apprenticed under Sullivan for several years before making a name for himself. Their most recent developments include three Marriott Autograph Collection Hotels — The Hotel Blackhawk and The Current, both in Davenport, Iowa, and the Louis Sullivan-designed Hotel Saint Louis in downtown St. Louis, which opened in December 2018.
Restoration St. Louis
Restoration St. Louis, led by Amrit and Amy Gill, has invested hundreds of millions of dollars in the revitalization of architecturally significant buildings, neighborhoods and thriving communities throughout the country. The organization initiates real estate development programs and partnerships with both city-based and minority-owned businesses. Restoration St. Louis has also worked on The Hotel Blackhawk and The Current-Iowa, the No. 1 and No. 2 hotels in Davenport, as well as Hotel Saint Louis, and the Coronado and Moolah in St. Louis, Missouri, to name a few. The Gills serve on the Marriott Ownership Advisory Board for the Autograph Collection Hotels.