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Work on new Broad Street hotel to start March 1

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It was out with the old and in with the new Wednesday at the site of a future Holiday Inn Express & Suites that will replace a dilapidated hotel on Broad Street.

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Augusta Mayor Deke Copenhaver (from left) and commission members Marion Williams, Corey Johnson and Donnie Smith prepare for a photo in front of the Regency Inn, which will be replaced by a Holiday Inn Express & Suites.  SARA CALDWELL/STAFF
SARA CALDWELL/STAFF
Augusta Mayor Deke Copenhaver (from left) and commission members Marion Williams, Corey Johnson and Donnie Smith prepare for a photo in front of the Regency Inn, which will be replaced by a Holiday Inn Express & Suites.

Despite cloudy, bleak weather, Augusta leaders spoke of a bright future spawned from the $8 million project led by local businessman and developer T.R. Reddy that will turn the former Regency Inn at 444 Broad St. into a new 118-room hotel.

“You never get a second chance to make a first impression,” said Augusta Mayor Deke Copenhaver. “This will be the first impression that a lot of people have coming into Augusta.”

Reddy purchased the site for $588,500 at a 2009 auction after the building sat vacant for years. Reddy initially planned to start renovations in 2010, but financing issues caused a delay.

In November, Augusta commissioners helped move the project along by creating a tax allocation district downtown to assist in redevelopment of the property.

“Augusta is growing,” City Administrator Fred Russell said. “The opportunities are multiplying. People are re-investing in our community.”

The building, first constructed in 1965, will undergo a complete overhaul, with only the original steel structure remaining.

Work is slated to start March 1 and could be finished by the end of 2013, said Mason McKnight, president of ACC Construction Co., which will build the hotel.

The project will employ about 100 workers and local subcontractors will be used, he said.

Once complete, the six-story hotel will serve as a nearby lodging destination for those using Augusta’s new convention center on Reynolds Street and improve the surrounding area, Reddy said.

“The developers’ goal is to provide needed rooms for the Augusta Convention Center as well as providing a foundation for the redevelopment of the lower end of Broad Street,” he said.

Reddy said he will likely hire between 20 and 25 employees.

The hotel will be designed as an energy-efficient facility that receives Leadership in Energy Environmental Design certification, Reddy said. The design also includes an outdoor swimming pool, gym and meeting space.

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damejacqueline
34
Points
damejacqueline 02/13/13 - 05:59 pm
4
1
New Hotel on Broad

In the meantime, get rid of all the riffraff hanging across the street at the Olde Town Gas Station parking lot...

Pops
6956
Points
Pops 02/13/13 - 06:10 pm
4
6
Give it a couple of years

after it opens...assaults..robberies....rapes....breakins.....it will get a "downtown" reputation......

countyman
19155
Points
countyman 02/13/13 - 06:36 pm
4
9
The private sector continues to believe in Augusta.

The CBD continues to attract residents, hotels, restaurants, etc.

Pops... The CBD is easily one of the safest & richest places in the CSRA. In the United States private investment tends to go into the overall safe areas. The two Marriotts located downtown are the most expensive hotels by far in the area, and they don't have any negative reputation. The rooms cost more than the Sheraton, Hilton Garden Inn, and Doubletree in West Augusta.

Even areas the media reports as 'downtown' like Harrisburg aren't completely in disrepair.

Pops
6956
Points
Pops 02/13/13 - 06:48 pm
6
4
You go down

there and walk around at night.......lotsa luck.....

Riverman1
79535
Points
Riverman1 02/13/13 - 06:54 pm
7
4
"The rooms cost more than the

"The rooms cost more than the Sheraton, Hilton Garden Inn, and Doubletree in West Augusta."

Don't forget West Augusta is part of the city and pays lots of taxes without getting anything near what downtown is given. I'd be more kind to them.

GnipGnop
11529
Points
GnipGnop 02/13/13 - 07:32 pm
2
1
WeAreAllInfected
111
Points
WeAreAllInfected 02/13/13 - 08:48 pm
2
4
"Give it a couple of years"

Why anyone would build a new hotel in such a bad part of town?

itsanotherday1
40304
Points
itsanotherday1 02/13/13 - 09:10 pm
4
4
WAAI, I suppose it is as CM

WAAI, I suppose it is as CM says, private sector money is willing to take a chance. I just hope it doesn't become a flophouse like every other motel on lower Broad.

allhans
23288
Points
allhans 02/13/13 - 10:24 pm
2
1
Is this the same location as

Is this the same location as that of the hotel years ago called the "Towers"?

countyman
19155
Points
countyman 02/14/13 - 01:58 am
4
2
Private Investment

I'm guessing some people must live 15-20 miles from downtown in another county, and don't visit often. The same few people can say whatever they want too, but you can't hide the facts. I live in the CBD, and walk, bike, etc down lower Broad street almost weekly. The abandoned hotel didn't stop families, young professionals, etc from moving into Olde Towne. Expect to see even more people walking near the hotel at night which makes people feel safer.

I'm laughing at some of the comments, because the former Sheriff release the crime stats last year in regards to this area. How many new hotels are popping up in this economy? The other fact remains the metro is only building a few hotels, and this hotel was able to receive the Holiday Inn brand. The only new hotels I know of are the following below.

1. CBD-Holiday Inn Express
2. West Augusta- Home2Suites by Hilton & Residence Inn by Marriott
3. South Augusta-Hampton Inn
4. Aiken-Staybridge Suites & Holiday Inn Express

The HIE in Aiken consists of a four story/95 room hotel compared to the six story/118 room downtown.. The reality of the situation is the private developers agrees with me.

triscuit
2855
Points
triscuit 02/13/13 - 11:59 pm
3
2
I thought Mason McKnight ran

I thought Mason McKnight ran McKnight Construction. Oh we'll at least they hired a local builder. It can hopefully improve that eyesore of an area. I'd hire extra security for the parking lot though!

seenitB4
81577
Points
seenitB4 02/14/13 - 07:54 am
3
2
Just wait now

Let us be POSITIVE about this.....this is what visitors see when they enter our sweet town......
I have to say weareallinfected has a unique posting name....kinda catchey......lol

LuvMyTown
2008
Points
LuvMyTown 02/14/13 - 07:57 am
2
1
Really Good News!

A big thank you to the investors!

bigj706
993
Points
bigj706 02/14/13 - 09:16 am
3
0
I hope the hotel does well.

I hope the hotel does well. I'm waiting on the Cheesecake Factory I hope your right on that CM

Little Lamb
43901
Points
Little Lamb 02/14/13 - 09:24 am
2
2
Clueless Lamb?

I'm having a hard time conceptualizing what the Mayor means by this statement:

“You never get a second chance to make a first impression,” said Augusta Mayor Deke Copenhaver. “This will be the first impression that a lot of people have coming into Augusta.”

The hotel address is 444 Broad Street. Are they going to put a heliport on top of the hotel and blindfold the guests as they fly in? How can 444 Broad Street be the first thing any visitor sees of Augusta?

justthefacts
20419
Points
justthefacts 02/14/13 - 09:26 am
2
1
weareallinfected

What are we infected with? Is there a shot available?

Techfan
6461
Points
Techfan 02/14/13 - 09:26 am
3
3
"“You never get a second

"“You never get a second chance to make a first impression,” It's the second impression that'll get 'em.

Techfan
6461
Points
Techfan 02/14/13 - 09:47 am
2
2
From previous AC story

"The building was constructed in 1965, so it could qualify as a certified historic structure, said Erick Montgomery, the executive director of Historic Augusta.

The group will work with Reddy to determine whether the building meets the criteria. If so, it could be eligible for historic preservation tax credits, Montgomery said."

1. 1965 is historic? I'm evidently a fossil.
2. It was to be gutted to everything except the steel structure. How can that qualify for a historic zone tax credit? Can you leave one brick from an old house and qualify?

seenitB4
81577
Points
seenitB4 02/14/13 - 10:17 am
0
0
Interesting pics

Does M Williams try to sit right next to Deke in every picture....just wondering...LOL

SPARKSTER83
259
Points
SPARKSTER83 02/14/13 - 11:18 am
0
0
Best to have a nice hotel for
Unpublished

Best to have a nice hotel for visitors to see when they come down town,verses an old falling down dump.I love the downtown area i think our mayor is doing a great job bringing back historic Augusta.Keep up the good work DEKE....

Little Lamb
43901
Points
Little Lamb 02/14/13 - 12:09 pm
0
0
How Much Did You Pay for Those Shoes?

The third photo is a picture of Marshall McKnight's hard hat placed on the ground at his feet. Those are nice looking shoes, Mr. McKnight, but you really should have your trousers hemmed. The pant legs are dragging on the ground.

Brad Owens
4102
Points
Brad Owens 02/14/13 - 01:32 pm
0
0
Good start...

This is one thing we can point to and say the TEE Center helped get done. But I will withhold the glad handing, back slapping and champagne cork popping until it opens.

Brad

Just My Opinion
5280
Points
Just My Opinion 02/14/13 - 04:25 pm
0
0
You know, I get why some

You know, I get why some people here are being negative, but you gotta think about it this way...in order for any positive change to occur in that part of town, something positive has to start there. The building of a new and improved hotel is that positive start. It will obviously take a good while for many people to change their attitudes and perceptions about this part of town, but it has to start someplace and some time. I mean, what's the alternative here?? I'll tell you..the alternative to this is NOTHING! So, you tell me which is better?

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