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Project manager Joe Webb gives Rivercane update

By Staff
ByAdam Prestridge
Rivercane project manager Joe Webb stole the show at last Thursday's monthly Atmore Industrial Development Board meeting.
"This is mostly a Joe Webb show," chairman Richard Maxwell said. "We don't have any action items at all today, but we do have a fair amount of reporting since it has been awhile since we last met."
Webb reported that interest in the 643-acre development continues to grow following the close of the Vision Hospitality property in November 2007 for construction of a Comfort Suites hotel. In fact, he said a full price offer has been accepted from a developer that plans on constructing either a restaurant or retail establishment on the site.
"We are getting pretty well along with negotiations with a fast food restaurant and we're also moving forward with negotiations with a another fast food restaurant," Webb said. "I'm cautiously optimistic on both of them."
The wind was let out of Webb's sail following an offer of $650,000 for Lot 6A, which was listed for $850,000 in the cul-de-sac next to the lake.
"We were elated to receive an offer this week," Webb said. "Although the price they are offering is less, but as we got into negotiations with them, their contract specifically said for hotels."
As part of the contract with Vision Hospitality, no additional hotels can be built in Rivercane until a year following the date the contract was signed for the Comfort Suites. Southeastern regional director John Tampa has 90 days from Nov. 11, 2007 when the contract was signed to have construction started, but construction has been delayed due to a change in architects and the clock is ticking. The same process will be followed when Tampa signs the contract on the second parcel this November to build a Hampton Inn.
"We're nervously watching Mr. Tampa," Webb said. "The consequences are not going to be fun."
Webb said he also had a tip that Cracker Barrel may be interested in locating in Rivercane, but the tip proved to be rumor.
"They said no," he said. "They are not in expansion mode right now."
The board also: