|Trinity Standard - Local News
Stories Added - October 2008
Copyright 2008 - Polk County Publishing Company
Motel will be first phase of development plan
Trinity Standard - October 2008
TRINITY – The planned development of a 14-acre tract owned by the city is off to a strong start with a signed agreement to develop a 40-room motel on part of the property.
During their meeting last month, the Trinity City Council gave their stamp of approval to the project being organized by the Trinity Economic and Industrial Develop-ment Corporation (TEIDC).
Under an agreement reached with MRUN Corporation, the city would donated four acres of land to the company, which would build a two or three story Budgetel motel on the property.
Billy Nave, TEIDC’s project manager, told the council that under the agreement, MRUN would have a year to begin construction and another year to complete it.
“I don’t see it taking that long,” he said. “I believe we should see construction begin sometime after the first of the year.”
He said MRUN is now in the process of having its architects prepare the building’s design and, once that work is completed, would present the drawings for final approval by the city council.
Nave added that he “suggested” the design require room access through a central lobby rather than through exterior doors and stairways.
He noted that this would provide greater security to guests.
The property to be given for the motel site is part of the 14-acre tract purchased through TEIDC immediately south of the ALCO store off Highway 19 South. The four-acres assigned to the Budgetel project are on the southern side of that tract, which runs from Highway 19 back to FM 1617.
Nave said plans call for the motel to be built on the back of the property with space for a strip center left toward the front.
While MRUN would seek to recruit business for the shopping center area, Nave said the city and TEIDC also could actively seek businesses to locate there.
The other 10 acres of the site would be used for other development and Nave said TEIDC is still actively trying to obtain a commitment from a grocery store to make use of the property.
City Councilman Neal Smith, who serves as the city council’s representative on the TEIDC board, noted that the plan to develop the 14-acre tract calls for a 20-foot wide entrance road and a 20-foot wide exit road separated by a 20-foot wide grass area containing utility lines. This boulevard would divide the tract and serve all of the businesses that eventually locate there.
Nave said that while the road would eventually run from Highway 19 to FM 1617, he suggested that only enough of it be built at this time to provide access off Highway 19 to the motel.
“We can hold off on completing the road to see what happens with other business development,” he said.
“I really think you’ll see a great deal of growth out there once they start to develop this acreage,” Nave said.
He noted that in addition to giving the MRUN the land, he expects they also will ask for tax abatement for the first few years of their operation.
The abatement program would allow the new business to gradually phase in their annual city property tax payments over time.
Smith noted that before the city purchased the 14-acres, they were receiving only $58 per year in tax revenue from the undeveloped property.
“What ever goes in down there will bring in a lot more tax revenue than we have received from that property in the past,” he noted.
The Budgetel motel franchise is operated by the Atlanta, Ga.-based Budgetel Hospitality System, LLC.
The first Budgetel was opened in 1973 in Oshkosh, Wis. by Marcus Hotels and grew into 170 locations across the country. In 1998, Marcus Hotels renamed the chain Baymont Inns and Suites and in 2002 sold the Budgetel brand.
The Budgetel name was acquired by brothers Mukesh and R.C. Patel and they resurrected the franchise in November 2007 with the opening of a new Budgetel in Bossier City, La.
Since then Budgetel franchises have opened or are in the process of being built in New Orleans; Montgomery, Ala.;, Durham, N.C.; Decatur, Ga.; Houston; and Columbia, S.C.
TEIDC is the city’s economic development agency and is funded with 25 percent of the city’s 2 percent sales tax revenue.