Local developers propose new hotel, restaurant for Lunken Airport

The plan is to open the hotel and restaurant bar in 2022.
Proposal for Lunken Airport renovations submitted to city
Updated: Mar. 17, 2021 at 5:07 PM EDT
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CINCINNATI (FOX19) - Cincinnati’s historic Lunken Airport Terminal could see some major changes within the next year.

The Lunken Field Project totals nearly 50,000 square feet of renovations and new construction, reimagining the property into a first-class hotel with associated amenities.

“I will always miss the Sky Galley, because they provided amazing food and hospitality, and it was amazing to watch the planes land,” said David Hulefeld of Cincinnati. “But I think it’s gonna be a great little bonus to the Anderson, Mt. Lookout, Hyde Park area, so let’s go with it.”

The proposal includes 50 guest rooms, a 100-seat restaurant and bar featuring indoor and outdoor dining, separate 200-person and 50-person event spaces and a rooftop bar.

“It definitely needs some improvements,”” said Patty Blanchard of Cincinnati. “I’ve actually been attending that airport in that area since my son was little, 30 years! So for them now to do some updates, I think it’s wonderful.”

Some have concerns about the historic preservation.

The developer, Van Rooyen Group says its research into the history of the airport has revealed the property currently is not a registered historical site. However, as an integral piece of their design and development process, they’re seeking to designate the terminal building as a registered historic landmark.

“If they can preserve the historic building, that’s awesome,” said Hulefeld. “That place has been there since before 1929, so it’s part of the landscape. So why don’t you make that inclusive and make that part of the entrance to the new hotel whatever you’re gonna do.”

Still, community members say the future of the terminal looks promising.

“We are in the pandemic. It seems we are trying to get up out of the pandemic. I do believe that having jobs readily available as we come out of it will be great, especially for Lunken Airport. It’s been a family field, so to say, for years,” said Blanchard.

The plan is to open the hotel and restaurant bar in 2022.

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