Chattanooga-based hotel development firm Vision Hospitality Group Inc. plans to build an 88-room Hampton Inn near the new Bass Pro Shops in East Ridge.
But in order for the new hotel to be built, an existing hotel there — the America's Best Value Inn near Camp Jordan — will be torn down so its sewage capacity can be credited toward the new Hampton Inn, officials said Monday.
Vision Hospitality Group said the new hotel will be built on part of the 50-acre Jordan Crossing shopping center, at the entrance of Camp Jordan near Interstate 75's Exit 1. Ultimately, Jordan Crossing is expected to include 300,000 square feet of retail, restaurant and hotel space. The retail center's construction is subsidized through a Tennessee law meant to encourage retail development in towns just inside the state border.
The old hotel will have to go, because there's a limit on sewer capacity on the Hamilton County Water and Wastewater Treatment Authority (WWTA)-managed sewer system in the area of East Ridge around Exit 1.
"The new [hotel] is going to be essentially right next door to where the old one currently is," East Ridge Mayor Brent Lambert said. "Once that is underway, in order to satisfy sewer credits, they will take the old one down. The WWTA has approved the sewer tie-on with the caveat that the old hotel has to be down before the new one can begin operating."
Jordan Crossing's developers, John Healy and brothers Matt and Ethan Wood, have an option to buy the old hotel, Lambert said.
Restrictions on sewage capacity could hold up development at Jordan Crossing, said County Commissioner Tim Boyd, whose District 8 includes East Ridge. Boyd said it explains why East Ridge's Bass Pro doesn't have a bar and restaurant like other Bass Pros do.
"One of the reasons that the Bass Pro out at Exit 1 here doesn't have a restaurant, like the [Bass Pro] in Sevierville, is they didn't have the sewage capacity or credits to put one in," Boyd said.
A percentage of sales tax revenue from the new hotel would go to Jordan Crossing's developers through the Border Region Retail Tourism Development District Act of 2011, meant to encourage development on the Tennessee side of border towns.
The trio of developers earlier this month got a $412,500 check in sales tax money to offset their expenses, Lambert said.
Vision Hospitality Group spokeswoman Jocelyn Cochran couldn't immediately say Monday whether the developers offered Vision an incentive to build the new Hampton Inn. There's no definite date when Vision Hospitality Group will break ground on the new hotel, she said.
"We are pleased to be developing another hotel in our hometown of Chattanooga," Mitch Patel, president and CEO of Vision Hospitality, said in a statement.
The new hotel will feature an outdoor pool and a state-of-the-art fitness facility and business center, he said. The new Hampton Inn will cater to families and travelers participating in sports tournaments and special events at Camp Jordan and other area recreation facilities.
Both Lambert and Boyd are excited about the prospect of a new Hampton Inn in East Ridge.
"I know Vision will build a super-nice place," Boyd said.
Vision plans to open seven more Hilton-branded hotels by spring 2018. The new Hampton Inn in East Ridge is one of five properties Vision Hospitality is now building or developing in the Chattanooga area, including the company's first boutique hotel, The Edwin, and the company's first multi-family venture, 10/North, in Chattanooga's Northshore.
Vision currently boasts a pipeline of 19 properties under construction or in development branching across four different states.
Contact staff writer Tim Omarzu at email@example.com or www.facebook.com/MeetsForBusiness or twitter.com/meetforbusiness or 423-757-6651.