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Photo courtesy News 14 Carolina
Photo courtesy News 14 Carolina

Hammons drops plans to build Wilmington, N.C., hotel

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John Q. Hammons Hotels & Resorts’ plans to build a $50 million, 14-story hotel in Wilmington, N.C., have been shelved.

An Aug. 31 reply from Justin A. Harris, JQH Hotels senior vice president and general counsel, was sent in response to a letter from Wilmington officials to Hammons on Aug. 25.

The Wilmington letter asked the developer for a written agreement for construction of the hotel, according to Steve Bridges, assistant to the city manager for development.

We have all been patient during these past several months in evaluating the city’s requirements and the feasibility and timing of this project in our company’s development schedule,” Harris said in the letter to Bridges. “We are not in a position to move this project forward with a written development agreement.”

Harris said in the letter that the company is committed to other projects with priority over Wilmington and the inability to manage the convention center next to the proposed 260-room hotel was a challenge.

Hammons Hotels officials did not return calls seeking comment on the plans in Wilmington.

I think Mr. Hammons is sincere in his desire to do the project, I really do,” Bridges said. “The economy has just got him and others in a quandary right now.”

Hammons’ plans for hotels have stalled recently in Denton, Texas; Colorado Springs, Colo.; and downtown Springfield.

The company is in negotiations with Tulsa, Okla.-based Flintco Construction Inc. regarding the Colorado Springs project, according to Dana Birkes, vice president. Flintco filed a $29.3 million mechanic’s lien in October 2009 – later reduced to $24.6 million – to dispute the developer's inability to obtain financing for the project. Flintco began construction on the project in April 2008 and stopped in October 2009.

Hammons Hotels operates more than 80 hotels.

Read more coverage of Hammons’ stalled projects in the Sept. 20 Springfield Business Journal.

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