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Hammons not building hotel next to Expo Center

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John Q. Hammons has responded to the city's 45-day ultimatum to begin hotel construction downtown by saying thanks, but no thanks.

In a release sent by e-mail to Springfield Business Journal, Hammons says he will not be able to build the hotel in the current economic climate and will give the land back to the city for $1, per the terms of the agreement signed when he purchased the land two years ago.

The developer had requested an extension to begin construction on the planned $50 million hotel project between the Springfield Expo Center and the Jordan Valley Car Park on St. Louis St. He said the ongoing difficulty in obtaining financing made starting the project by the latest deadline of April 1 impossible, according to the release.

"Reasonable financing is not available for hotel development and won’t be for another one to three years," Hammons said in the release. "I continued to have interest in building the Embassy Suites Hotel here in Springfield and requested an extension from the city.”

Hammons had requested until July 2011 to begin construction but found the city's requested concessions "insurmountable."

The hotel developer purchased the property, along with the adjacent car park, for $7 million in 2008. At the time, Hammons asked for an extension until April of this year to begin construction, citing financing difficulties.

After watching the April 1 deadline come and go, the city sent a letter to Hammons Monday saying he had 45 days to begin construction.

“On May 3, 2010, I informed the city I would start construction of the Embassy Suites Hotel July 1, 2011, with construction completion within 16 months,” Hammons said in the release. “Unfortunately, the city would not agree to our request for an extension.”

Read SBJ's May 10 issue for more on the downtown hotel development.[[In-content Ad]]

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