Developers for a $10 million hotel project in downtown Anniston now have one year to start construction on the building or ownership of the property will revert to the city.
The site for the Best Western Plus Hotel, formerly the Model City Center at 1200 Noble St., was once owned by the city of Anniston. The council transferred the property to the developers in October, but the agreement included a deadline of January 2019 to start construction.
The developers of the project are Mississippi-based Johnny Arnold with Baton Rouge, La.-based Tag Investments and his partner, John Hartlein.
Toby Bennington, director of economic development and city planning for Anniston, said Friday that Arnold and Hartlein are working with architects and contractors to draft a plan for building the structure.
“They’re moving forward with their design schematics and concepts,” Bennington said.
Anniston Mayor Jack Draper said he was pleased with the progress being made toward completion of the project.
“We’re getting there; we’re absolutely getting there,” he said.
Once the design build team comes up with a plan for the hotel, the developers will submit it to city inspectors and other officials for approval, Bennington said.
Bennington said a construction date for the project won’t be set until the design plan is approved by city and state regulators.
Efforts to reach the developers were not immediately successful Friday.
The developers have estimated that the 75-room hotel could generate between 45 and 60 jobs, depending on the number of retail shops drawn into the final plans.
Anniston City Council members in June 2017 agreed to incentives including rebated municipal sales taxes on construction materials, furnishings and other equipment bought locally; rebating half the city’s lodging tax for four years and all the city’s ad valorem taxes for four years for any taxes due over the current tax rate for the property.