SPARTANBURG – A planned $ 20 million hotel project for St. John’s Street in Spartanburg has gone one step further with the approval of a first reading development agreement by Spartanburg City Council.
The 136-room hotel would be under the Fairfield Inn and Suites brand, a service mark selected by Marriott. City council approval on July 12 paves the way for a final reading on July 26.
âWe think this project is a great use of this site,â said Chris Story, City Manager of Spartanburg. “It will support and be complementary to other downtown activities and allow us to capture some hotel activities that we are currently losing to locations outside of the city.”
The hotel would be located between the Montgomery Building and the George Dean Johnson Jr. College of Business and Economics. The development agreement is with Hawkeye Hotels to develop the property. Under the agreement, payments in lieu of taxes would be made over a 10-year period. Story said the taxes for the first year would be $ 70,000, increase to $ 220,000 by the 10th year, and then revert to conventional ad valorem taxes the following year.
Story noted that the project is moving forward during a period when the hospitality industry continues to rebound from losses suffered during the COVID-19 pandemic. Christopher George, head of communications and marketing for Spartanburg, said the city expects the hotel project to be completed in 2023 if it receives final approval. The hotel would use up to 140 parking spaces available in an existing parking garage located behind the site.
Council members Jerome Rice and Meghan Smith asked if there would be enough parking at the garage for students attending college and residents of the Montgomery Building. Story said the 750-space parking lot was designed to handle growth and was well within the margins of what would be needed.
With St. John Street being one of the busiest streets in the city, City Councilor Ruth Littlejohn wondered about the disruption hotel construction could have on traffic.
“Are we going to be able to reroute this traffic and not be blocked?” ” she asked.
Story said westbound traffic on St. John Street would not be completely blocked due to construction, with at least one lane open at all times. The proposed hotel would be built on 0.76 acres and help the city meet its overall economic development goals by providing more hotel space for area guests, Story said.
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