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New hotel still being considered in Elizabethton

John Thompson • Jan 7, 2020 at 7:16 PM

ELIZABETHTON — Yes, there are still plans to build a hotel in the west side of Elizabethton in the city’s new tax increment financing district along the south bank of the Watauga River. It is just that financing took longer than anticipated and the documents approved by the Elizabethton Housing and Development Agency have expired.

Kelly Geagley, director of the housing agency, said the EHDA board voted in September 2018 to approve the application by Cobblestone Hotel Development. The board was told the hotel would consist of approximately 54 rooms on three-story building on a 15-acre lot. That lot is located at the intersection of Overmountain Drive and Militia Court, next to the Ultimate Car Wash. When no action was taken on construction, the documents expired in September 2019.

Elizabethton Planning Director Jon Hartman said the expiration is the reason for the new activity. He has been told by the developers that financial backing has been secured if another agreement on the tax increment financing can be approved.

Hartman said the EHDA’s attorney on the TIF procedures is drafting the new hotel development agreement, which includes a request for an extension. Geagley said the EHDA board’s agenda for this month will include the application and request for extension. Hartman said the application and request for extension is the final step in the approval process.

While the figures for the new application are still in draft form, the document approved by the EHDA board two years ago approved the application from Cobblestone Hotel Development for a maximum period of 20 years in the amount of $1,042,352.82. Geagley said the board will meet toward the end of January.

Like any other development in the city, the plans for the hotel will have to be approved by the Elizabethton Regional Planning Commission once they are ready.

The tax increment financing district is dominated by property that was owned by the Bemberg and the North American Rayon Corp. factories for much of the 20th century.

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