February 28, 2012 10:26:00 AM
Continuation of a new hotel development is on the horizon for Columbus. The neon green wrapped structure on Highway 45 next to Belk has sat dormant for months; however, Sunny Sethi, an owner of the property, said major changes are in store for the hotel and that construction of the project will soon resume.
"We started this hotel as part of the Hampton Inn franchise," Sethi said. "But this is no longer going to be a Hampton Inn. I cannot tell you what chain the hotel is going to be -- yet. We will have an announcement in the next couple of weeks that will be a major announcement for the city of Columbus. I will say this -- it is going to be a major hotel and there is only one more from this franchise in the state."
Sethi said funding had been secured for the new hotel and the franchise had been "locked-in."
"The reason construction has temporarily stopped is because we are redesigning the hotel," he said. "As a Hampton Inn, it was going to have 83 rooms. The new franchise has been expanded to 99 rooms and it will be a full-service hotel with a restaurant and a bar. We are very close to starting construction on this phase of the project. This hotel chain is one that is usually in larger cities. This is going to be very exciting for Columbus."
News of the restarting of construction on the project could not have come at a better time for City of Columbus Building Department Director Kenny Wiegel.
"There has been some concerns from the city regarding what's going on with the construction," Wiegel said. "If there hasn't been construction on something for six months, I can pull the permits. Although construction has stopped for two or three months at a time, it has not stalled for six months or more. But we feel confident the project is going forward."
According to Wiegel, the original construction permit was issued in May 2010, and the building permit was issued in November of the same year.
1. Murder, arson trial begins for Lowndes teen COLUMBUS & LOWNDES COUNTY
2. Shifting to local: Coffee shop rebrands after getting new owner COLUMBUS & LOWNDES COUNTY
5. Murder, arson case ends in mistrial COLUMBUS & LOWNDES COUNTY