After a lengthy and noticeable absence from the hotel scene in Statesboro, the Hampton Inn is returning. Construction on the new hotel, which will be located in the Market District, is scheduled to begin this coming January.
The 90-room hotel is a welcome addition to the Market District according local developer Andy Burns, spokesman for the Market District development group.
"We never really thought about a hotel being part of the project," he said. "But, it makes very good sense. It will be right next door to East Georgia Regional Medical Center, and a comfortable walk from Georgia Southern's campus."
The new Hampton Inn will face Brampton Avenue, just behind the Main Street Village retail shopping center which fronts Fair Road. It will not have frontage on Fair Road, but Burns feels like it will be seen easily by passersby, once it is completed.
"The hotel will encompass two acres, and be four stories tall," Burns said. "It will be quite easy to spot from the road."
The developer of the hotel is Roy Patel, a veteran in the industry.
"I looked at several different sites including Statesboro Crossing and the Market District," Patel said. "The Hilton Corporation really liked this location, because of the proximity to the hospital and the campus. The process took about six months, and I am very pleased with how everything went, and how well the city of Statesboro worked with us."
Patel said he was particularly pleased with the cooperation from the city's engineering, planning, and zoning departments.
"A meeting was set up, and everyone that I would need to work with from the city regarding this project was there," he said. "They asked a lot of questions, and were very helpful. I have nothing but nice things to say about the process, and the people from the city of Statesboro that I have had the pleasure of working with so far."
Local real estate broker Todd Manack represented the seller of the property to Patel, and was very involved with the sale of the two acres that Patel purchased.
"I think it is fair to say that right now, most retail and related development is centered around the mall area and in the Market District," Manack said. "It seems like those that are trying to appeal to the regional shopper are opting to develop near the mall. Those that really have Georgia Southern students and those connected with the hospital in mind are giving very careful consideration to the Market District. It is nice to have those options to present, and they are both extremely viable."
Burns said only 16 acres of the 80 acres in the Market District remain undeveloped, and he feels the area has begun to generate a life of its own.
"We were very lucky in that we had the Market District up and going three years before the world turned upside down," he said. "Frankly, had we attempted this three years later, we might have been upside down in the project, but things seemed to have worked out."
Patel said the hotel will take several months to construct, and ultimately will be run by a staff of 20 employees or so. "Like other Hampton Inns, we will not have a restaurant, but will be serving a free breakfast each morning to our guests," he said.
There are over 1,700 Hampton hotels located in the United States, Mexico, Canada, United Kingdom, and Ecuador. It is part of the Hilton family of hotels which includes DoubleTree by Hilton, Hilton Hotels, Hilton Garden Inn, and the Waldorf Astoria Hotels and Resorts.