|By Tim Rausch, The Augusta Chronicle,
Ga.McClatchy-Tribune Regional News
Jan. 21, 2010--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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
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