|By Daniel Tedford, San Gabriel Valley
Tribune, West Covina, Calif.McClatchy-Tribune Regional News
May 26, 2010--WEST COVINA -- A new hotel is scheduled to be completed this fall, and it will bring more than 30 new jobs, officials said.
The decade-long effort to build the Fairfield Inn & Suites by Marriott in West Covina is finally nearing the finish line after construction begin this year. Developer Brighton Management expects construction to be finished on schedule in September or October, officials said.
It's been a long time coming for the $14.5 million project. The land was purchased by Brighton in 2001, but the project was put on hold after 9/11.
"It was a project on our back burner for a while," Brighton President Joseph Fan said. "We decided to table this project until now. The economy is down and a lot of contractors asked if they could build this thing. So we decided to go forward and create jobs in the down economy."
The 57,000-square-foot, five-story, 110-bedroom hotel is taking root at 3211 E. East Garvey Ave., the former home of L.A. Fitness.
The project was first approved in Oct. 2005, and the L.A. Fitness building was torn down in June of the following year. The foundation work for the hotel began in 2007.
But progress was stunted again when the project went through a redesign to save costs, Fan said.
In the redesign, the first story remained concrete, but the top four floors were made with wood to cut back on construction costs, city officials said.
Fan's company previously owned two hotels in West
Covina -- the Hampton Inn and Holiday Inn, which is now the Clarion Hotel. The company sold both of those and has been trying to build a more modern hotel for the area, Fan said.
"We wanted to bring a great product with the newest technology," he said. "I think there will be a lot of advantages for business travelers and the local community."
That includes tax dollars, and Fan estimates the hotel could generate $250,000 annually for the city. The Fairfield will be a welcome addition, complimenting city attractions like the Big League Dreams sports complex, said Christopher Chung, director of West Covina's community development commission.
People often travel from out of town for tournaments at the complex, but since the city has a limited amount of hotels many of those people stay in neighboring cities, he said.
With the Fairfield Inn, more visitors will stay in West Covina -- and that's good for local business, he said.
"It provides more amenities and possibilities that would not have otherwise existed," Chung said. "The more people they bring into the area, the better that helps with sales. They are going to shop, they are going to eat."
The development itself can serve as a boon to business, Chung said.
"It is in a time where everyone is not developing and you have this development going forward," Chung said. "It is showing that confidence in the economy is going to turn around and they see a very positive market in the city of West Covina."
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