LaGRANGE — Officials are confident demolition of the former Mansour’s department store building downtown will begin early this year to make way for a new hotel.
The project’s developer, Paramount Acquisitions, has not yet laid out an exact timetable, but is contracting with architects and civil engineers to move the project forward, according to Bobby Carmichael, executive director of the Downtown LaGrange Development Authority.
Paramount Acquisitions is the development arm of the Carrollton-based construction company RA-LIN and Associates.
“We’re bullish that the project is going to move forward,” Carmichael said.
Within a few weeks, the developers and other involved parties are slated to meet and begin the process of finalizing the project’s schedule, Carmichael said.
“In the next couple of weeks, we’ll have a very definite timetable as to when the old building will come down and construction will start,” he said.
After the meeting, early design sketches should be available to give the public a better idea of what the new hotel will look like.
The city of LaGrange purchased the property in 2010 for $1.2 million and will deed it to the DLDA, as well as provide $300,000 to the demolition costs. A 200-space parking deck will also be constructed adjacent to the hotel. The deck will be owned by the city, but is being financed with a $4 million grant from the Callaway Foundation.
Speer Burdette, president of the foundation, said he’s glad to see the project moving forward.
“It’s been a long time getting to this point, and we’re excited to see the progress begin,” he said.
Taxes from the hotel are projected to provide the city with about $200,000 per year in revenue over the next 20 years, according to Tom Hall, city manager. The hotel is expected to employ about 30 people.
The hotel is expected to have about 100 rooms and the building’s facade will be designed to be in keeping with downtown’s existing architecture.
Note: This article has been edited to correct the amount of revenue the project is expected to provide the city.
Tyler H. Jones is a reporter with LaGrange Daily News. He may be reached at 706-884-7311, ext. 2155.