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Old Posted Jun 9, 2005, 2:57 PM
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HSVTiger HSVTiger is offline
America's Mars Rocket
Join Date: May 2003
Location: Huntsville
Posts: 3,873
Hotel bought

by city, from WAFF television.

City leaders call it a unique chance, the possibility to pedal into a future where Big Spring Park gets even bigger.

"We're very proud because this was an opportunity for the city," Mayor Loretta Spencer smiles.

The opportunity sprang forth when the aging, soon-to-be-retired owners of the Holiday Inn Select put it up for sale at an asking price of 14-million bucks. A non-profit organization called the Big Spring Partners managed a deal for the hotel at 8-and-half million.

"It just seems like such a win," Big Spring Partner President David Johnston says of a victory even the hotel celebrates.

A huge tax break kept the owners from ducking out of the deal.

"I read that contract so many times," hotel general manager Vini Gupta says. "I cannot come up with a single negative for any party concerned."

Meanwhile, the city gets the property, an obvious financial benefit, and so much more. "The city's getting paid for the availability of the land, they're getting their cost recovered," Johnston explains. "They're protecting inflation. They're protecting the site, they're keeping the rooms."

Rooms that aren't going anywhere, not now that the hotel's guaranteed to be there at least another decade. And with construction of a second hotel already in full swing, city leaders say further downtown development also has a promising future.

This is another step in downtown progress, here is another.

The Huntsville City Council will consider plans today that would remove an old storage building from the Pinhook Creek floodway, add green space around the downtown post office and build a storage facility for the U.S. Postal Service.

City leaders have been working to make way for an eventual widening of Pinhook Creek to remove businesses from the flood plain and help reduce the cost of flood insurance for businesses in the area.

Plans call for the city to take over roughly 2.5 acres along Pinhook Creek behind the post office on Clinton Avenue; raze the storage building; expand green space; and revamp the parking lot at the post office, said Dallas Fanning, city planning director.

This will become part of the planned riverwalk under construction.
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