Comfort Suites, Diamond commit

Published 2:52 am Wednesday, May 24, 2006

By By Adam Prestridge
Diamond Oil vice presidents, Roy White Jr. and Tommy White, and Vision Hospitality director John Tampa know opportunity when they see it.
The Whites were the first business owners to cash in on prime property in the newly announced Rivercane development located just off Interstate 65. Tampa followed suit purchasing two parcels of land for development of two hotels.
"I believe that there is the opportunity for a big development because of the way the city is approaching the development," Tampa said. "I have a good relationship with John Stanley &Associates and they are the ones that recommended the project to us and presented it to us. It's pretty exciting."
John Stanley &Associates of Montgomery, along with Saad and Vallas Realty Group of Mobile are the brokers responsible for the sale of all non-industrial property within Rivercane. Tampa said that he has done business with John Stanley &Associates in the past with properties they have in Montgomery.
The first hotel to be constructed will be a three-story, 72 unit Comfort Suites, which will include suite rooms, an outdoor swimming pool and Jacuzzi. The mid-scale property will cost approximately $4.5 million to construct and is slated to begin construction in September following work by the City of Atmore and the Atmore Industrial Development Board, which will be performing all grating work, underground utilities and roads beginning the third week in June. Tampa said construction of the Comfort Suites should be completed in seven to eight months, weather permitting.
Tampa will also be building an 80-room Hampton Inn &Suites by Hilton, which will cost just over $5 million to construct.
"Hampton Inn is the best product right now in mid-scale hotels," Tampa said.
It is unsure when construction on the Hampton Inn will begin.
"We are working right now with a market study to see if the market can support it," Tampa said. "It's going to be more convenient for us to develop both projects at one time."
According to Rivercane Project Manager Jim Corman, work on the second hotel should begin by at least 16 month after the contract was signed, which would have it begin in the summer 2007. Initially it was dependent upon profitability, but Tampa doesn't foresee a problem with having empty rooms.
"I think the project is going to go it's just a matter of time," Tampa said. "It all depends on how much effort everybody is going to put into it. It's going to be about teamwork and at the end of the day if everybody's going to work it's going to be a big success."
As for the benefit for local businesses, Tampa said he will attempt to keep as much of the subcontracting in Atmore.
"We're going to use any local vendors we can to make a good relation," Tampa said. "We feel that the city has given us the opportunity, so we need to give back."
Both hotels will employee between 15-20 people.

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