INDIANAPOLIS — Robin Staten-Lanier is a hometown girl, who proudly hails from Indy’s westside.
“It born, bred and raised me,” she said, “So I’m just excited today to bring something home.”
Sharing a piece of home is exactly what she hopes to do with Hoosiers throughout the state and those beyond.
On Friday, she, along with city leaders, broke ground on what’s set to be the future home of Tiny Urban Escapes, Indy’s first container boutique hotel. Staten-Lanier, Founder and CEO, said it’s a concept you won’t find anywhere else.
“Tiny Urban Escapes is an entity that focuses on culture and wellness,” she said, “So we want to make certain that we bring the community into the space to celebrate and also find rest and retreat amongst the urban cities.”
The site along West Michigan Street will include four luxury suites built from up-cycled containers. Each suite is themed, complete with modern decor and personalized amenities, including WiFi access, tea & coffee bar and heating and cooling.
Meant to be placed in the heart of the city’s urban communities, Staten-Lanier said these suites celebrate culture and encourage visitors to explore the area around them.
“I have always been intentional about bringing luxury amenities to not only communities of color, but what I believe to be an intersection of diverse tapestries for this community,” said Staten-Lanier. “My hope is that this becomes a place of what I like to call urban safaris, where individuals from outside of this community can come and learn about its people, its culture and its history.”
In addition to Staten-Lanier’s personal investment, The Local Initiatives Support Corporation Indianapolis Office is also helping support the project. Aaron Laramore, senior program officer, said it’s expected to cost about half a million dollars.
“The hotel concept that Robin is putting forward here is a boutique hotel concept,” he said. “It’s a lesser level of investment than a standard hotel industry investment.”
“It’s smaller, which means you can put those developments together a little more quickly. It’s one of the innovative pieces of this type of development,” he added.
Staten-Lanier said Tiny Urban Escapes is expected to be finished in about seven months, or late summer 2022. However, advanced booking will go live online on Monday. Prices range, starting at $179 a night.
In addition to the luxury suites, Staten-Lanier said they’re also incorporating a private banquet space, where people can have the opportunity to rent the area. There’s also opportunities in motion for remote workspace and partnerships for the community to utilize the space.
While there are several key players helping in the reality of Tiny Urban Space, Staten-Lanier said it’s the community’s project too.
“It’s more of a community investment as well that we’ll have long-standing, significant, not only personal wellness, but economic investment in this community,” she said.
“Not only that they take away this innovative product,” she added, “but they see that all things are possible from a girl that came up on the westside of Indianapolis, and that they dream a little bit bigger and go a little bit further than I did.”