With an anticipated starting time in mid-February, the work on the 124-room Residence Inn by Marriott is scheduled to be finished in a year and ready in time for the 2015 Masters Tournament, said Bipin Hira, of PeachState Hospitality, the developer and managing company.
“That’s our goal,” Hira said. “That’s the reason we’re rushing it, too.”
The four-story building is planned at 1116 Marks Church Road near the Bobby Jones Expressway interchange and Wheeler Road. The location, between Augusta Mall and Augusta Exchange shopping center, is ideal for its visibility and proximity to Fort Gordon and area nuclear facilities, Hira said.
The project, expected to cost more than $15 million, will be geared toward a corporate clientele and will include social events, an indoor swimming pool and interior room entry, Hira said.
Ripal & Rupal LLC purchased the 3.6-acre parcel for $2 million in September 2011, according to the city’s property records.
The company also owns 2.7 acres next to the future hotel’s lot, but Hira said there are no plans to develop that site.
“We’re just going to grade it and we’re going to sit back on it, maybe a restaurant or something,” he said, “or it could be another hotel.”
On Jan. 6, Hira received a special exception from the Augusta Planning Commission to proceed with the project but must first get approval from the Augusta Commission on Jan. 21 and meet all requirements of the new stormwater management plan before construction can begin.
Despite concerns about crime and more flooding from two neighbors living behind the property in Kingston subdivision, the only objection to the motion came from Planning Commissioner Sonny Pittman, who worried about the area’s ongoing water runoff problems.
“I’m just of the opinion that we need to get those things fixed before we add to the problem,” Pittman said after the meeting.
Countering any unease felt from residents, Hira said that a retention pond will be added to the site to address stormwater issues. He said that the hotel will consist of one- and two-bedroom suites and will only offer daily rates, not weekly or monthly charges.
The Residence Inn will employ between 35 and 40 workers.
PeachState Hospitality has developed more than 34 franchise and independent lodging properties throughout the Southeast. The Warner Robins, Ga.-based firm has 10 hotels under development or construction.
This is the first project developed by the company in the metro Augusta market.