Hyatt plans move along

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A 139-room hotel bordering the Augusta Common is back on track now that the city is moving on its plans to construct a new convention center on Reynolds Street.

Courtland Dusseau, the managing partner for Alabama-based Legacy Hospitality LLC, said Wednesday that he has resumed work on constructing a Hyatt Place hotel across the street from the proposed trade, exhibit and event center.

Dusseau said he doesn't have a timeline established to break ground on the $25 million project, which includes an adjacent office building. He said it would take a year to finish once the project got under way.

"We're working on budgets today. We'll have the business plan, financial plan put together by tomorrow and start meeting with bankers," Dusseau said. "We were concerned about when the TEE center was starting. As long as it's gonna happen, we're fine."

The Hyatt was delayed when the Augusta Commission put the TEE center on hold. The presence of the center is a necessary part of the business model, Dusseau said, and one of the reasons for the placement of the hotel.

Legacy Hospitality will seek funding through a OneGeorgia Authority grant and a Georgia Cities Foundation loan.

The developer said he is confident all the funding options will guide the project through the credit crunch.

"We feel that this is such a high-profile project. We are going to contact all the local banks and are confident as a group that we'll get it done," Dusseau said.

The hotel will employ 70 people.

The Hyatt could open in 2011. The TEE center is on target to open in 2012.

The eight-story hotel will have an underground parking deck with 106 spaces. The Downtown Development Authority of Augusta would assist in offering the bonds to fund the deck.

The project also calls for a three-story office or commercial building at the corner of Reynolds and Ninth streets.

Dusseau said there will be land left over behind the hotel that will be preserved for future development.

Reach Tim Rausch at (706) 823-3352 or timothy.rausch@augustachronicle.com.

Comments (25) Add comment
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Riverman1
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Riverman1 01/21/10 - 05:03 am
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I thought Dusseau was the one

I thought Dusseau was the one demanding the TEE adhere to strict timelines so he could get started? Well, the TEE is set now. Where is his scheduled start? It seems kind of nebulous and not a sure thing now. Do I hear something coming like due to the economy, yada, yada, yada?

TrukinRanger
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TrukinRanger 01/21/10 - 09:07 am
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Did you read the article?
Unpublished

Did you read the article?

disssman
6
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disssman 01/21/10 - 09:40 am
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What happened to yesterdays

What happened to yesterdays posts for the same story? Is Billy trying to hide the public input for this white elephant?

disssman
6
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disssman 01/21/10 - 09:40 am
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What happened to yesterdays

What happened to yesterdays posts for the same story? Is Billy trying to hide the public input for this white elephant?

Riverman1
90811
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Riverman1 01/21/10 - 10:00 am
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TrukinRanger, just for you:

TrukinRanger, just for you: "Dusseau said he doesn't have a timeline established to break ground..."

disssman
6
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disssman 01/21/10 - 10:02 am
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Again 139 rooms, 70

Again 139 rooms, 70 employees, three story condo/office building = 106 parking spaces? No wonder they wanted the TEE parking deck built!! Who wants to bet a bunch of TEE center parking will be dedicated for exclusive use of this project. Keep electing your good old boys folks, especially if you are as poor at math as they are.

Riverman1
90811
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Riverman1 01/21/10 - 10:07 am
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As EmeryDan pointed out so

As EmeryDan pointed out so well yesterday, there are a lot of inconsistencies here. We were told if the TEE were approved the hotel would be built. It may happen, but they can back out right now if they want. We will see. You could also look at it in another way. The warning if the TEE wasn't approved by a certain date appears to be false, if they truly intend to build. Dusseau now says, "As long as it's gonna happen, we're fine."

Riverman1
90811
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Riverman1 01/21/10 - 11:11 am
0
0
Reading about yet another

Reading about yet another robbery on Riverwalk yesterday, the problem of safety for out of towners down there must be addressed. If the TEE and hotels do bring in the visitors, they will believe they are in a safe area. Safety has become a major issue. Something has to be done even if it costs a great deal. You better tack on another few million to correct this problem fast.

naturehazard
0
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naturehazard 01/21/10 - 11:24 am
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0
You act like robberies are

You act like robberies are common on the riverwalk. Crime happens in safe areas too. I live in a nice neighborhood in Evans. There have been burglaries and car break-ins in my neighborhood. A young woman was robbed at TPS gas station last week. The foot traffic would increase dramatically downtown. The Hyatt and Tee Center would bring alot of extra visitors.

Riverman1
90811
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Riverman1 01/21/10 - 11:37 am
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0
There have been many

There have been many robberies reported on Riverwalk. Nature, we all know there is less crime in safe areas. Riverwalk is our centerpiece for tourists and it has to be safe. If they start arriving in greater numbers with the TEE and more hotels we need to take steps to prevent these muggings. That's all I'm saying.

Riverman1
90811
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Riverman1 01/21/10 - 12:07 pm
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By the way, about the

By the way, about the ballpark on the river, has anyone seen the reviews in Ballparkreview.com of Lake Olmstead Stadium and other parks? They rate Lake Olmstead as one of the best anywhere. We would be foolish to mess with it. Look at the last line of the review: "I really enjoyed my visit to Lake Olmstead Stadium - it truly is a unique ballpark. There has been talk of building a new ballpark in Augusta, but here's hoping that Lake Olmstead lives on for many more years."

Riverman1
90811
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Riverman1 01/21/10 - 12:23 pm
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I'd like to know more about

I'd like to know more about Cortland (your spelling of his first name is wrong) Dusseau and Legacy Hospitality LLC of Alabaster, Alabama. There are two other companies with similar names, by the way.

Emerydan
10
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Emerydan 01/21/10 - 01:35 pm
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This sure does sound like a

This sure does sound like a similiar scenario with The Watermark and Villages at Riverwalk. Until shovels hit dirt and a hotel starts going up, nothing is certain here. Nothing is certain until a concrete timrline is established. But hearing that not even a business plan has been formulated really makes this sounds more like just some nebulous "idea" rather than a sure thing. I thought this all along, that this supposed hotel was just a ploy to force the commissioners hand on the TEE center. And everyone in Augusta has good reason to be skeptical over this project with the laundry list of other big hyped projects that never materialized.

Emerydan
10
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Emerydan 01/21/10 - 01:38 pm
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River.. My main point was

River.. My main point was that if is this hotel was being used as the main selling point for TEE at the reynolds site (which it was) then the commission should have something in writing from Mr Dusseau.. some assurances of a timeline, andequate investors, and a history of success with these developments. Were any such assurances put in writing? Apparently not,.. but Mr Dusseau was demanding such from the city of Augusta.

Emerydan
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Emerydan 01/21/10 - 02:05 pm
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In other business news: "Bass

In other business news:
"Bass Pro Shops on the Fast Track"
"Watermark Condo Developers say 'Full Steam Ahead!'"
"The White's Building Success Story"
"The Villages at Riverwatch Moves Forward... a pile of dirt was moved 5 feet."

deekster
24
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deekster 01/21/10 - 02:43 pm
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0
And someone wonders why the

And someone wonders why the "black community" distrusts every single word that comes from a "rich white mouth" in Disgusta. Wake up and smell the "thieves, robbersand rapist" who pose as public officials.

deekster
24
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deekster 01/21/10 - 02:43 pm
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0
And someone wonders why the

And someone wonders why the "black community" distrusts every single word that comes from a "rich white mouth" in Disgusta. Wake up and smell the "thieves, robbersand rapist" who pose as public officials.

naturehazard
0
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naturehazard 01/21/10 - 02:50 pm
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Riverman. There have been

Riverman. There have been several reported robberies in my area of Evans. I live in a good part of Evans. Im not refrencing some of the older apartments in Evans. My point is robberries on the riverwalk is not a common problem. It doesn't mean crime can't or hasn't happen there.

Emerydan
10
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Emerydan 01/21/10 - 05:35 pm
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If you believe this hotel is

If you believe this hotel is legit then I have a condo to sell you in The Watermark

Emerydan
10
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Emerydan 01/21/10 - 07:45 pm
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The only Legacy Hospitality,

The only Legacy Hospitality, LLC I can find through google searches is a company based out of Albuquerque, NM.. doesn't seem to be the same outfit here. cannot find anything about this Alabama developer.. seems there would be track record.

Riverman1
90811
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Riverman1 01/21/10 - 08:15 pm
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EmeryDan, I found it. It's

EmeryDan, I found it. It's located in AL. (There are two other companies with similar names.) It's legit, but it's not that big. They will have to borrow the money to make it work. Somehow I don't remember that being discussed earlier either. It was simply stated they would build it as if they had all this money ready to spend. Now we see comments about obtaining financing. That's an easy out. They could simply say due to the economy the banks are not lending.

Emerydan
10
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Emerydan 01/21/10 - 08:33 pm
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That's what I thought River..

That's what I thought River.. this seems to be a small potatoes outfit.. If this was some bigtime developer, then I am sure they would already have their finances lined up and a business plan in place with ground breaking next month. Their whole proposal seems very nebulous with lots of contingencies.. like getting money. If I were a bank, I would not loan them money, especially in this economy, with what little track record in the industry they have.

Emerydan
10
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Emerydan 01/21/10 - 08:44 pm
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River.. this sounds way too

River.. this sounds way too much like The Watermark.. but atleast there it didn't involve a $110 million expediture of public monies.

AnotherPerspective
0
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AnotherPerspective 01/21/10 - 09:29 pm
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With public support like this

With public support like this from Karen, I would reconsider buiding a hotel here as well. For me, I wish them the best. We need more investments in downtown. We need less naysayers.

thewiz0oz
9
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thewiz0oz 01/22/10 - 12:48 am
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The development to expand our

The development to expand our current Trade & Exhibit Center to accommodate the approximate $12 million economic impact demand that Augusta loses each year due to inadequate facilities had nothing to do with the Hyatt Hotel being built at the Augusta Common. The citizens of Augusta voted in 2005 to enlarge our current convention center because of sound economic reasons. The Hyatt Hotel’s decision to invest in downtown was made after the 2005 vote. The reason Hyatt is interested in Augusta is because they understand the significant potential downtown Augusta has. Apparently one or two readers of this newspaper are against the idea of Downtown regaining its former glory. As for the developer waiting until after the Commission formalized approval of the 2005 voters wishes to begin raising construction funding, it is normal for construction funding to be separate from long-term funding, and it would have been an exercise in futility to seek funding if the Commissioners had killed the project.

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