PORT HURON, Mich. (AP) — The developers of the former Water Street Marina said construction of a Holiday Inn Express at the site should be complete by 2015.
Amerilodge Group purchased the site from the city for $300,000 in March 2013.
The group's plans for the site include an 83-room Holiday Inn Express, with a restaurant and possible refurbishment of the marina slips.
"Our focus will be opening the hotel and, after that project is complete, we will turn our focus on our other opportunities such as the restaurant site and the marina slips," Jenny Richardson, vice president of sales and marketing for Amerilodge, said in an email to the Times Herald of Port Huron (http://bwne.ws/1ydz51Z ).
Richardson said there have been no unforeseen delays in the hotel's construction. She said pilings have been installed at the site, and crews are working on underground plumbing for the facility.
She also said the hotel has reservations for a 2015 convention in Port Huron.
Richardson said the company is working on its brownfield plan for the site.
The brownfield plan is a tool that is used when communities have sites that are either functionally obsolete or have poor or damaged soil, said Kim Harmer, Port Huron's planning director.
"It's a way to recapture any new investment tax dollars that may be put into the site to pay for the infrastructure or improvements at the site in order for the project to happen," Harmer said.
James Freed, city manager for Port Huron, said the hotel development will be a source of jobs and a support for the Blue Water Area Convention Center being constructed near the Blue Water Bridge in Port Huron.
"Just seeing the property — which is a brownfield — redeveloped into an asset is huge for our town," Freed said.
The Port Huron City Council reclaimed the former Water Street Marina property in November 2012 when Hotel Development Services failed to start construction within three years after purchasing the property in 2009.
Harmer said Amerilodge started construction within six months of gaining its building permit by installing footings at the site.
"If we have a lack of activity on the site for more than six months, then the permit would expire," Harmer said. "What we would have to do is renew the permit.
"It's a private development; we don't usually get too involved."
Port Huron Mayor Pauline Repp said, when complete, the hotel will be a boon for the city.
"It's another economic driver for the area," Repp said. "I think one of the reasons they actually decided to locate there was when the convention center was announced."
Richardson said, in addition to Amerilodge's development in Port Huron, the company is working on Holiday Inn Express & Suites in Rochester Hills and Monroe, Courtyard by Marriot hotels in Bay City and Battle Creek, and a Fairfield Inn & Suites by Marriot in Chesterfield Township.
Information from: Times Herald, http://www.thetimesherald.com
This is an AP Member Exchange shared by the Times Herald (Port Huton).