Two Kansas City, Mo, developers joined the City of Miami's Economic Development team and city officials Monday to launch construction at the site of a planned hotel.

Roger Ratzlaff Jr. and Doug Portell, owners of Portell and Ratzlaff LLC, turned the first spades of dirt, officially marking the start of construction on the estimated $4 million Holiday Inn Express project that is expected to be completed in October.

“It is nice to be wanted, Portell said as he applauded the City of Miami and its efforts to bring the hotel to Miami. “Everyone in Miami has been tremendously nice and have welcomed us.

Portell said the hotel, expected to draw traffic off Interstate-44, will be an asset to the community and the region.

“We would open right now if we could, Portell said.

The LLC purchased 3.8 acres behind Ken's Farm and Home where Ratzlaff said they will build a 45,000-square-foot facility that will employ approximately 35 people and capture a revenue source that is “literally driving past Miami every day.

“You could not ask for a better location, Ratzlaff said. “We are very excited about being here.

The new hotel will offer a variety of amenities such as a fitness center, indoor pool and hot tub, Express Convenience Store, business center, wireless internet services and family bedroom suites.