Vicksburg’s 30th hotel being built on S. Frontage|[04/02/08]

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, April 2, 2008

More changes are on the way to sloping land near Vicksburg’s busiest intersection, as construction began Tuesday on the city’s 30th hotel.

Work crews began leveling dirt on Candlewood Suites, a three-story, 83-room hotel on 1.7 acres in front of The Home Depot.

The extended-stay hotel should have a foundation by summer, said Kamal Amin of Premier Hospitality Group.

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The firm is the corporate parent of Holiday Inn Express and Comfort Inn on East Clay Street and a Courtyard by Marriott and LaQuinta Inn planned at East Clay and Berryman Road.

A second hotel east on South Frontage Road, Wingate by Windham, is now set for a mid-May opening, general manger Marty Crevitt said.

Long delayed by construction and financing issues, the Wingate is part of the $25 million Cypress Centre Marketplace retail center in development on South Frontage since 2005. While plans to open a Ruby Tuesday’s next to the hotel have fallen through and the land is listed for sale, developer Jimmy Hamilton said, a foundation is in place for a new location for El Sombrero Mexican Restaurant.

The new El Sombrero location should wrap up within 8 months, Hamilton said.

Both Vicksburg and Warren County agreed to participate in tax increment financing on the development, which allows for the payment of property taxes dependent on surrounding property values. Those are expected to rise with the completion of the $40 million recreation complex on city-owned Halls Ferry Park.

The slot for the new hotel was purchased from Ergon Properties, which for a time also owned the Halls Ferry Station strip mall behind the Walgreens drug store and Regions Bank, formerly the site of Halls Ferry Elementary School. It was purchased by the bank for $2.65 million in a foreclosure sale last November.

Vicksburg’s hotel space will increase to more than 2,000 rooms when Wingate and Candlewood Suites open.