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Roanoke City Council could finalize downtown hotel

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ROANOKE, VA -

Roanoke City Council could finalize the proposed downtown Roanoke hotel at tonight's city council meeting.

As we've reported, the developer put plans on hold earlier this year after construction costs were more than they estimated.

But now Roanoke City's stepped forward with the possibility of more than $2-million.

 

"This is a very important economic development project for the city and its downtown. It's part of our tourism strategy to increase the availability of rooms in the city and especially in downtown," said Brian Townsend, Assistant Roanoke City Manager.

South Carolina based development company Windsor Aughtry wants to build a hotel lobby on the first floor of the Market garage along Church Avenue and a three-story hotel on top of it.  

Townsend says the developer underestimated the cost to modify the parking garage and put in an elevator.

Roanoke City already approved $350,000 to help with costs. Now they'll vote on additional $350,000 to help with construction.

Also up for a vote up to $1.5 million in grants over a six year period after the hotel opens. It would be based on the revenue received from real estate and lodging tax.

Roanoke City says they expect the hotel to bring in at least $400,000 in city revenue annually and at least $80,000 dollars in revenue from hotel guests parking in the garage. 

"It's important for us to maintain the dominance of downtown as the center of the region both economically, culturally, socially," said Townsend. 

     City Council meets tonight at 7 with public hearings about the downtown hotel. The grants also have to be approved by Roanoke's Economic Development Authority.

     If everything's approved they plan to make the contracts final by the end of the year. The developer hopes to start construction in early next year.

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