*Black-owned boutique hotel is opening in the Haughville neighborhood of Indianapolis this summer to cater to the needs of guests looking for unusual accommodation experiences in the heart of the city.
The hotel, Tiny Urban Escapes, is to be built using repurposed shipping containers. According to the hotel’s owner, travelers have grown tired of cookie-cutter hotels and are now seeking trendy and more intimate places to stay.
A one-night stay in the suites will cost $179. Each suite will have access to wellness and culinary experiences and on-demand concierge service. The suites will be made using 20-foot high-cube containers. There will be a fifth building named The Scene for dining and events, and it will be made using a 40-foot high-cube container.
The groundbreaking ceremony was attended by Mayor Joe Hogsett on Friday at the Haughville Indianapolis Public Library.
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Robin Staten-Lanier, Tiny Urban Escapes owner, took the opportunity to take the audience present through what the hotel will look like when completed, outlining four private hotel suites arranged in a courtyard format. These suites are already named: The Bold, The Heiress, The Naturalist, and The Eclectic.
Also present was the president of the Indy Black Chamber of Commerce, Larry Williams, who explained to the audience that Staten represents a success story of perseverance by how she secured funding and a site for her boutique hotel.
“We need for the city and the state to use her as an example so we can get more money for Black businesses and women-owned businesses,” Williams told those present.
Local Initiatives Support Corporation (LISC) Indianapolis is to lend $280,000 to this project to carter for predevelopment and construction.
This has been made possible with support from the Lilly Endowment for credit enhancement for economic development projects, focusing on investments in Black-owned businesses located in disinvested neighborhoods.
“This goes beyond hospitality,” Staten Lanier said. “The intent is to transform communities, but also to use this space, almost as an igniter of additional economic development in this community.”
As to why she decided to use shipping containers, Staten explained that it’s because of their sustainability, eco-friendliness, and ease-to-market.
“Shipping containers are growing in popularity right now,” Staten Lanier explained. “We’re seeing projects pop up around the city, and I’m just fortunate enough to be on the forefront of that innovation.”
Staten previously worked in IUPUI (department of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion). She began working on the hotel’s concept in 2016.