March 17, 2014 9:18:38 AM
The Hyatt Place under construction on Highway 45 since 2010 will be open for business in June.
That's what Sunny Sethi, the hotel's developer, said last week while giving a tour of the four-story, 70,000 square foot structure, which sits just south of Belk in Columbus.
The hotel project has been a drawn out process. The first construction permit the city issued for the hotel came in 2010, according to Kenny Wiegel, the city's building department director. The hotel was to be a Hampton Inn with 83 rooms at that time. When that plan did not pan out, Sethi secured the rights to build a Hyatt Place at the same location. That was 2012.
Since then, a sewer line has had to be re-routed. Also, Hyatt Place uses one vendor to supply furniture to its high-end hotels, and there was a wait for the furniture to arrive. Now, though, things seem to be moving forward.
According to Hyatt's corporate website, the Columbus location is "now accepting reservations for Oct. 22 and beyond."
Sethi estimated the Hyatt Place is 85 percent finished. The interior lacks carpet and furniture. But air conditioner units for each of the 99 rooms are in place and the restaurant's kitchen is nearly complete. When it is up and running, the hotel will feature a full-service public restaurant and bar, 24-hour room service and a Starbucks coffee shop, according to Sethi.
The hotel will employ 40-plus people.
Sethi, whose family-owned business based in Canton owns 15 hotels throughout Mississippi, Louisiana and Alabama, has been making two trips a week to Columbus to check in on the Hyatt Place's progress. It has taken longer than expected to finish but he noted the Columbus hotel is only the second Hyatt Place in the state of Mississippi. It has been a learning experience. But Sethi said it will be worth it in the long run, and he believes in the hotel's future and what it will bring to Columbus.
There are roughly 200 Hyatt Place hotels in North America, according to the hotel's corporate office.
Sethi also announced on Wednesday that his family's business has plans to develop a Holiday Inn in Columbus. That 109-room hotel will be located directly behind the Hyatt Place off Highway 45, he said.
Initial construction on that project is expected to begin in June.
William Browning was managing editor for The Dispatch until June 2016.
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