Tuesday, November 14, 2017

Cease-fire declared in Ridgeland hotel wars

Developers struggled for nearly a year but managed to win approval from the Ridgeland Board of Aldermen last week to build two hotels.  The Board approved the construction of a Holiday Inn Express and Hilton Tru hotel on a unanimous vote.  However, the Board also extended a moratorium on hotel construction for another 180 days.  The moratorium will not apply to these two hotels.

New rendering of proposed Holiday Inn Express

Developers originally planned to build three hotels in two buildings on I-55N Frontage Road by West Ridgeland Avenue.  However, the Board of Aldermen forced them to jump through more than a few hoops for nearly a year before approving their plans.

Ridgeland Hospitality,  LLC submitted plans for two five-story buildings that would house a Holiday Inn, Holiday Inn Express, and Hilton Tru.  It asked for a variance from the city's  height restriction.  The combined occupancy would have been 288 rooms.  The Aldermen refused to approve the variance.  Ridgeland Hospitality redrew the plans to comply with the 48-foot height restriction but to no avail.  The Aldermen instead enacted a 180-day moratorium on hotel construction.

An alderman who works for a competitor, Kerioth Corporation, participated in several of the votes.  While Ridgeland Hospitality met roadblocks, Kerioth got whatever it wanted from the Board for the Township at Colony Park project - TIF's, tax breaks, permits - the works.  Ridgeland Hospitality didn't request any TIF bonds nor were any offered.  It was the only project affected by the moratorium. 

However, the Aldermen were not done moving the goalposts.  The moratorium was scheduled to expire in October so the Board naturally extended it for another thirty days.  Keep in mind that Ridgeland Hospitality had already spent $3 million on the project.  The Ridgeland Tourism Commission also presented to the Board in October a study that stated the supply of hotel rooms in north Ridgeland was limited while the demand was growing.  The occupancy rates averaged 75% and rise to over 90% during the middle of the week.  Post on study. 

The Board forced Ridgeland Hospitality to make more changes to its plans.   Ridgeland Hospitality had to drop the plans for a Holiday Inn and reduce the number of rooms from 288 to 208.  Holiday Inn had to show a commitment to giving the project the "Holiday Inn Express flag" (The current one near County Line Road will lose its flag.).

Ridgeland Hospitality's attorney, Stephen Smith, said at the Board's November 6 work session "It's been a long road."  He pointed out the different treatment given to Kerioth (See video):

Two weeks after the moratorium was adopted, another developer came in and got approval for two new hotels, height variances up to 80 feet, and a sales tax rebate of up to 30% for the entire project. My clients didn't ask for that.  They want to build their project it and let it stand on its own.  They didn't need any kind of TIF money or anything else.....

So far we have done everything anybody asked us to do.  We revised our drawings. We probably added 4 to 5 to $600,000 in material costs. 

The Board approved the project at the November 7 meeting on a 6-0 vote.  Alderman Kevin Holder was absent.

The owners of Ridgeland Hospitality are Chico Patel, Ali Bhatti, Tom Crowson, Todd Reeves, and Bobby Gill.

Original plans before alterations made


Anonymous said...

Sounds like Ridgeland Hospitality has not been "paying its dues" so to speak.....

Anonymous said...

They will open before that ugly Hampton opens. Keriot should be worried now.

Anonymous said...

The Ridgeland Hospitality team are good people, but they seriously had to up their game. Kerioth knows about the quality expected. Was never apples to apples.

Anonymous said...

A very slanted story. Ridgeland is attempting to establish higher standards. Low end motels are not what Ridgeland needs. I congratulate our mayor and aldermen.

Anonymous said...

When someone mentions Ridgeland my first thought isn't Township. It's hotels and, increasingly, car dealerships. Weren't those the driving forces that created Highway 80, I-55N and County Line? This is a clear pattern. I would't bet on Ridgeland avoiding such an outcome.

Anonymous said...

Hilton and Holiday Inn are now low end hotels?

Sorry that you got your feelings hurt.

Suscribe to latest on JJ.

Recent Comments

Search Jackson Jambalaya

Subscribe to JJ's Youtube channel


Trollfest '09

Trollfest '07 was such a success that Jackson Jambalaya will once again host Trollfest '09. Catch this great event which will leave NE Jackson & Fondren in flames. Othor Cain and his band, The Black Power Structure headline the night while Sonjay Poontang returns for an encore performance. Former Frank Melton bodyguard Marcus Wright makes his premier appearance at Trollfest singing "I'm a Sweet Transvestite" from "The Rocky Horror Picture Show." Kamikaze will sing his new hit, “How I sold out to da Man.” Robbie Bell again performs: “Mamas, don't let your babies grow up to be Bells” and “Any friend of Ed Peters is a friend of mine”. After the show, Ms. Bell will autograph copies of her mug shot photos. In a salute to “Dancing with the Stars”, Ms. Bell and Hinds County District Attorney Robert Smith will dance the Wango Tango.

Wrestling returns, except this time it will be a Battle Royal with Othor Cain, Ben Allen, Kim Wade, Haley Fisackerly, Alan Lange, and “Big Cat” Donna Ladd all in the ring at the same time. The Battle Royal will be in a steel cage, no time limit, no referee, and the losers must leave town. Marshand Crisler will be the honorary referee (as it gives him a title without actually having to do anything).

Meet KIM Waaaaaade at the Entergy Tent. For five pesos, Kim will sell you a chance to win a deed to a crack house on Ridgeway Street stuffed in the Howard Industries pinata. Don't worry if the pinata is beaten to shreds, as Mr. Wade has Jose, Emmanuel, and Carlos, all illegal immigrants, available as replacements for the it. Upon leaving the Entergy tent, fig leaves will be available in case Entergy literally takes everything you have as part of its Trollfest ticket price adjustment charge.

Donna Ladd of The Jackson Free Press will give several classes on learning how to write. Smearing, writing without factchecking, and reporting only one side of a story will be covered. A donation to pay their taxes will be accepted and she will be signing copies of their former federal tax liens. Ms. Ladd will give a dramatic reading of her two award-winning essays (They received The Jackson Free Press "Best Of" awards.) "Why everything is always about me" and "Why I cover murders better than anyone else in Jackson".

In the spirit of helping those who are less fortunate, Trollfest '09 adopts a cause for which a portion of the proceeds and donations will be donated: Keeping Frank Melton in his home. The “Keep Frank Melton From Being Homeless” booth will sell chances for five dollars to pin the tail on the jackass. John Reeves has graciously volunteered to be the jackass for this honorable excursion into saving Frank's ass. What's an ass between two friends after all? If Mr. Reeves is unable to um, perform, Speaker Billy McCoy has also volunteered as when the word “jackass” was mentioned he immediately ran as fast as he could to sign up.

In order to help clean up the legal profession, Adam Kilgore of the Mississippi Bar will be giving away free, round-trip plane tickets to the North Pole where they keep their bar complaint forms (which are NOT available online). If you don't want to go to the North Pole, you can enjoy Brant Brantley's (of the Mississippi Commission on Judicial Performance) free guided tours of the quicksand field over by High Street where all complaints against judges disappear. If for some reason you are unable to control yourself, never fear; Judge Houston Patton will operate his jail where no lawyers are needed or allowed as you just sit there for minutes... hours.... months...years until he decides he is tired of you sitting in his jail. Do not think Judge Patton is a bad judge however as he plans to serve free Mad Dog 20/20 to all inmates.

Trollfest '09 is a pet-friendly event as well. Feel free to bring your dog with you and do not worry if your pet gets hungry, as employees of the Jackson Zoo will be on hand to provide some of their animals as food when it gets to be feeding time for your little loved one.

Relax at the Fox News Tent. Since there are only three blonde reporters in Jackson (being blonde is a requirement for working at Fox News), Megan and Kathryn from WAPT and Wendy from WLBT will be on loan to Fox. To gain admittance to the VIP section, bring either your Republican Party ID card or a Rebel Flag. Bringing both and a torn-up Obama yard sign will entitle you to free drinks served by Megan, Wendy, and Kathryn. Get your tickets now. Since this is an event for trolls, no ID is required. Just bring the hate. Bring the family, Trollfest '09 is for EVERYONE!!!

This is definitely a Beaver production.

Note: Security provided by INS.

Trollfest '07

Jackson Jambalaya is the home of Trollfest '07. Catch this great event which promises to leave NE Jackson & Fondren in flames. Sonjay Poontang and his band headline the night with a special steel cage, no time limit "loser must leave town" bout between Alan Lange and "Big Cat"Donna Ladd following afterwards. Kamikaze will perform his new song F*** Bush, he's still a _____. Did I mention there was no referee? Dr. Heddy Matthias and Lori Gregory will face off in the undercard dueling with dangling participles and other um, devices. Robbie Bell will perform Her two latest songs: My Best Friends are in the Media and Mama's, Don't Let Your Babies Grow up to be George Bell. Sid Salter of The Clarion-Ledger will host "Pin the Tail on the Trial Lawyer", sponsored by State Farm.

There will be a hugging booth where in exchange for your young son, Frank Melton will give you a loooong hug. Trollfest will have a dunking booth where Muhammed the terrorist will curse you to Allah as you try to hit a target that will drop him into a vat of pig grease. However, in the true spirit of Separate But Equal, Don Imus and someone from NE Jackson will also sit in the dunking booth for an equal amount of time. Tom Head will give a reading for two hours on why he can't figure out who the hell he is. Cliff Cargill will give lessons with his .80 caliber desert eagle, using Frank Melton photos as targets. Tackleberry will be on hand for an autograph session. KIM Waaaaaade will be passing out free titles and deeds to crackhouses formerly owned by The Wood Street Players.

If you get tired come relax at the Fox News Tent. To gain admittance to the VIP section, bring either your Republican Party ID card or a Rebel Flag. Bringing both will entitle you to free drinks.Get your tickets now. Since this is an event for trolls, no ID is required, just bring the hate. Bring the family, Trollfest '07 is for EVERYONE!!!

This is definitely a Beaver production.

Note: Security provided by INS