FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WFFT) -- It’s the home stretch for Fort Wayne’s newest hotel.
The Bradley Hotel downtown is getting finishing touches for an opening this summer.
Owner Barbara Baekgaard, who also co-founded Vera Bradley, says she wants the hotel to be a unique homey experience for guests.
“I want people to walk in and feel like it really is their hotel,” she said. “This is a Fort Wayne hotel. There is no other like it.”
Growing up in Florida inspired Baekgaard’s latest venture.
“I always wanted to have a really nice hotel here in Fort Wayne,” she said.
And it’ll be right in the heart of downtown at the corner of Harrison and Main Streets.
With 124 rooms and nine suites in the works, The Bradley Hotel hopes to draw in more businesses and residents to the area.
This has been a trend according to Kathleen Benson, who has lived in Fort Wayne for 28 years.
“This town has been going through a renaissance big time,” Benson said.
She thinks the hotel will be another part of that growth.
“It is going to draw another magnet of people. I think that’s fantastic,” she said.
And the fact that the project is spear-headed by Baekgaard is another plus for Benson.
“We need more high profile women to do just what she’s doing right now,” she said.
Baekgaard says she wants people who come to Fort Wayne to have a memorable experience and hopes the hotel will add to everything else the city has to offer.
“At the end of their day, then we drop them at a beautiful, beautiful hotel, and they have the memory of staying here,” she said.
Plans for shops on the ground floor of the hotel are in the works, as well as a top floor bar and dining area.
Barring any delays, Baekgaard says the goal is to open the hotel in mid-July.