Construction of a replacement hotel for Hampton Inn on Washington Road is expected to break ground in early 2014.
The five-story, 126-room Hampton Inn & Suites will be built behind the existing Augusta hotel at 3032 Washington Road on property that backs up to Interstate 20. The hotel is scheduled to open 12 months after the start of construction, said Jay Burnett, the real estate vice president for JHM Hotels, which built the current Hampton Inn in 1986.
“It’s a strong market,” Burnett said. “It’s a good location, and we’ve had plans to remain there and remain in the market. We had this opportunity to construct a new hotel basically in the same location and we took advantage of that.”
According to the city’s property records, JHM Hotels has owned the four-acre plot since the 1990s.
JHM Hotels is a Greenville, S.C.-based hotel development and management company with 41 properties mainly concentrated in the Southeast. The Hampton Inn was the first hotel developed from the ground-up for the firm and remains its only hotel in the Augusta market.
The current hotel, nearly 30 years old, is slightly larger than the planned hotel, with 145 rooms, but the two-story hotel has all exterior-entry rooms. Burnett said the new hotel will have interior access to rooms, a mixture of suites and will feature all of the guest amenities of a brand-standard Hampton Inn & Suites, which is a franchise owned and operated by Hilton Worldwide.
According to the Hampton Web site, most locations include a pool and exercise room.
“There just comes a time in a hotel’s life cycle where the current physical box can’t continue to meet those requirements for the current brand,” Burnett said, “so we just want to upgrade.”
Burnett declined to give the project’s estimated cost and said JHM Hotels doesn’t share company budget information.
Once the new hotel opens, the existing property will be re-branded. Burnett said he is unsure whether the
company will sell it.
“We haven’t worked through what that strategy is going to be, but it will get re-branded and it will remain open and operating as a different brand hotel,” he said. “It’ll be appropriate to the style and design of that hotel.”