Traffic passes by the City Place building, a former section of the Yakima Mall on East Yakima Avenue, on Friday, Aug. 2, 2019.

JEM Development will build a Hampton Inn and Suites hotel in downtown Yakima, the company said Friday.

The 71-room hotel will be located at the corner of Third Street and Yakima Avenue, at the former Yakima Mall food court. The hotel will offer several amenities, including complimentary continental breakfast, an exercise room, a business center, pool and underground parking.

Construction of the hotel is expected to start sometime this spring, said Elizabeth Morrier McGree, vice-president of JEM Development. An opening date will be determined later.

“The property is in the heart of downtown, and we wanted to bring in a business that would help us reach our goals of advancing tourism opportunities while encouraging economic development,” McGree said in a JEM Development news release.

JEM Development President Joe Morrier Sr. told the Yakima City Council in August about his plans to develop a new hotel. The company confirmed Morrier’s statement and stated that an official announcement would come later.

The hotel is part of the family firm’s ongoing effort to redevelop the former mall, which closed in 2003. The hotel is next to City Place, a mixed-use development that will include space for a variety of uses, including a restaurant and offices for medical and educational facilities.

McGree said JEM Development is working with the Yakima County Development Association to recruit a call center. Most recently, Arvato closed its call center at the former mall in 2018 after more than five years of operation. Before that Whirlpool, previously Maytag, ran a call center at the same space for several years before shutting down in 2011.

In 2006, Hilton Garden Inn opened at the former Mervyn’s department store space. JEM development recently completed more than $1 million in renovations to the hotel’s reception area, restaurant and lounge.

The Lofts, a condominium complex with ground-floor retail space, was completed in 2009. In 2016, Hotel Maison, a boutique hotel, opened in the historic Freemasons building, which was not part of the Yakima Mall but located next to it.

Reach Mai Hoang at maihoang@yakimaherald.com or Twitter @maiphoang