Crews demolished the structure on West Third Street across from Barron Stadium earlier this week. The next step will be for the city to conduct drilling on the site and collect test bores to determine soil conditions.
Duke Hospitality, part of Doss’ Samson Developers group, is planning a 100-plus room hotel on the site.
“We’re all pretty much still on schedule,” Doss said. “Not that there aren’t still hurdles to get over, but the hurdles are a little lower than they were a few months ago. There are all good, positive signs.”
The hotel would be a limited full-service property, with a restaurant, bar and conference rooms to go with the 105 to 120 guest rooms. Doss said the hotel would be a four-story Courtyard on top of a two-story parking deck.
Doss said that if the progress continues on track, a groundbreaking could be scheduled by late summer or early fall.
There is some design work still left to do with the architect and that will take about three months. The city will have final sign-off on the overall design of the hotel, he said.
Doss said city officials are working with the architect to help pinpoint the locations of the test bores. He said the process is expected to be completed around Feb. 1.
The next big hurdle is getting formal approval for the project from Marriott’s board of directors. Doss said they expect to receive an answer by Feb. 8.
The board has already given conditional approval of the project and Doss said he doesn’t expect any problems with the final go-ahead. After that, he expects Duke Hospitality to close on the 1.56-acre tract by March 1.
The City Commission extended the deadline for closing on property to March 10 last month, since the Marriott board was not planning to meet until the first week of February.
The original memorandum of understanding with Samson Developers gave the group until Jan. 2 to pay $400,000 for half of the 4.4 acres.
Once the sale is closed, the company would get an 18-month option on the remaining 2.2 acres for $1.4 million.
Along with the test bores, the city is responsible for having the site ready. According to Doss, this will include removing a couple of underground fuel tanks and providing water and sewer lines to the property.
“These things will be done at the appropriate time, but as they come up, the city has been good about striking these things off their list,” Doss said.
The total cost of the project is still being worked on and will not be set until after the Marriott board gives final approval.