|By Jannette Pippin, The Daily News,
Jacksonville, N.C.McClatchy-Tribune Regional News
Apr. 20, 2010--SWANSBORO -- It's now official: A hotel is coming to Swansboro.
Developers for the project have closed on the purchase of the property and construction of the planned Hampton Inn & Suites began Monday.
"We're hoping to open some time during the first quarter of 2011," said developer John Sandlin of Clarendon Properties of Wilmington, a principal in Swansboro Ventures LLC.
The 98-room hotel will be built on a three-acre site on Old Hammocks Beach Road near the intersection with N.C. 24.
With no other hotel between Jacksonville and neighboring Carteret County, Sandlin sees an opportunity to fill a void.
Sandlin said the hotel will put visitors within a mile of Swansboro's downtown district and is close enough to Camp Lejeune to draw people in town for work on base or visiting family members stationed at there.
Whatever their reason for being in the area, Sandlin believes Swansboro is a place people are going to want to stay.
"People love Swansboro," he said.
Mayor Scott Chadwick said Swansboro has a lot to attract people to town, from the historic downtown waterfront and Hammocks Beach State Park to festivals and events such as the Mullet Festival, Swansboro Rotary Oyster Roast and this year's debut of SwanFest.
But without local accommodations, visitors have had to go elsewhere for the night.
"I've always said we're good at bringing people to town, there's just not a place to stay when they get here. We're just real excited by what (the hotel) is going to mean to the town," Chadwick said.
Chadwick said that the project will help generate revenues for the town and benefit local businesses as people visit and stay to shop and dine in Swansboro.
He also believes the hotel will help draw new businesses to town.
The hotel project is an $8 million investment and Sandlin said the town has been very encouraging and cooperative in working with them as the project has progressed.
"We hope to take that sense of cooperation and continue on with it and work hand-in-hand to make this a very successful project," he said.
The four-story hotel will be constructed by EST General Contractors of Dunn and the architect is Design Elements of Wilmington, Sandlin said.
Engineering work on the project is being provided by Crystal Coast Engineering of Swansboro.
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