October 23, 2012 10:32:48 AM
Jeff Clark - [email protected]
"Hotel Row" in Columbus will soon be getting its second occupant in a three-hotel plan. Castle Properties and Peachtree Hotel Group of Atlanta announced Monday a groundbreaking ceremony Nov. 5 to officially mark the beginning of construction of a new Courtyard by Marriott hotel.
This is the second business-class hotel that Castle and Peachtree has opened in Columbus. It will be adjacent to the Fairfield Inn on 18th Avenue North.
"Mark Castleberry is a big reason our community is succeeding in retail and hotel development," Columbus-Lowndes Economic Development Link CEO Joe Max Higgins said Monday via a press release. "The Courtyard will better allow us to better serve our business and recreational traveler. The Link has had unparalleled success in attracting and retaining major manufacturers like Severstal, Weyerhaeuser, ABB/Baldor, PACCAR, American Eurocopter and most recently KiOR."
According to Castleberry, the full-service Courtyard will feature 110 rooms and more than 3,000 square feet of conference space. It will also feature the largest available hotel-based conference/meeting space in the area.
"Marriott regularly updates its plans and design," Castleberry said when discussing the plans for the project in August. "This will be their latest concept. It will include a bistro for food. It will have large meeting rooms and it will have a large, touch-screen TV where patrons can get local and national information. It's going to be a nice business-class hotel."
The hotel is the second in Castleberry's master plan for three business-class hotels at that site.
The Lowndes County Board of Supervisors and the Columbus City Council in August voted to amend Castleberry's TIF agreement from up to $3 million to up to $3.845 million, with a Dec. 31, 2014 completion deadline. The TIF agreement allows the city and county to sell bonds to the developer, who is then responsible for their repayment. The amended agreement gives Castleberry approval to build the third hotel and it will reduce the restaurant square-footage allotment from 10,000 square feet to 6,500 square feet.
"By agreeing to build a third hotel, the restaurant space has been reduced," Castleberry said. "Basically, Logan's covers the 6,500-square feet agreement, but we're looking to bring in a small fast-food chain or drive-through. We don't have any leads right now on what chains we want to pursue. This is something we will probably begin looking at in January."
Funding for the Marriott project was made available through MuniStrategies and BancorpSouth, the primary lender.
The project is partially funded by federal and state tax incentives and credits.
The ground-breaking ceremony will begin at 3 p.m.