Warrior Building

The Marriott Autograph Collection brand will be added to the 146-room boutique hotel proposed for the historic Warrior Hotel, above, and Davidson Building in downtown Sioux City.

Jim Lee, Sioux City Journal file

SIOUX CITY | The group planning to spend $56 million to redevelop the former Warrior Hotel and Davidson Building will add the Marriott Autograph Collection name when the downtown Sioux City project is completed.

In July, Sioux City developer Lew Weinberg, whose investment company owns the two towering structures in the 500 block of Sixth Street, announced a deal with St. Louis-based firm to develop the 146-room boutique hotel.

At the time, the developers said they were choosing between the Marriott Autograph and Marriott Tribute brands.

Roger Caudron, a spokesman for Weinberg, said the Warrior/Davidson group recently signed a franchise agreement to fly the Marriott Autograph flag.

For the Autograph brand, which started in 2010, Marriott said it handpicks luxury boutique hotels that "are unique in design and thoughtful in spirit," according to the international hospitality chain's website.

The Warrior would be the first Marriott Autograph Collection hotel in Siouxland. Restoration St. Louis, developer for the Warrior/Davidson project, operates two Marriott Autograph hotels in Davenport -- the Hotel Blackhawk and The Current Iowa. In each project, the company renovated historic structures. The Current, a former office building, was recently completed.

Built in 1930, the Warrior was long considered one of Sioux City's most elegant hotels, but has been vacant for more than 40 years, despite a series of efforts to bring the property back to its former grandeur. Since the late 1990s, the boarded-up structure has been red-tagged by the city for building code violations.

Restoration St. Louis plans to restore the brick exterior of the Art Deco-style hotel, which features Terra Cotta ornamentation and flourishes like ornate buffalo heads, and the second-floor lobby, front desk and ballroom. The upper floors would be converted into 92 guest rooms. An additional 54 rooms would be carved out of the second, third and fourth floors of the Davidson Building, which became the city's first office building when it opened in 1913.

The remainder of the 200,000 square feet of combined space in the two buildings would be transformed into restaurants, bars, retail shops and luxury apartments.

Caudron updated the status of the project Friday at a meeting of the Siouxland Chamber of Commerce's Community Enhancement Building. The plans called for starting construction in  2018, with completion in summer of 2019. But developers have sounded the alarm about the potential loss of federal Historic Tax Credits, which was expected to cover a big chunk of the project costs.

As part of major overhaul of the nation’s tax code, Republicans in Congress have advanced bills that would curtail or even eliminate the program, which allows developers to receive a tax rebate of up to 20 percent to rehabilitate eligible historic structures. With different versions of the bill having passed the Senate and the House, a conference committee of Republicans and Democrats from each chamber are now hammering out the details.

Caudron said local officials have been working behind the scenes with elected officials and their staffs to make hanges to the bill so that, in a worst-case scenario, projects already in the works like the Warrior, could move forward under the current rules.

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