By JACK WEATHERLY
The Cotton House. Is there better name for a luxury hotel in the Delta?
Tradition with a wink.
The $17.6 million, 95-room hotel will open early next year in downtown Cleveland, dead center in the region known for the richest soil and earthiest music in the world.
“It’ll be a very high-end product,” said Luke Chamblee, president of LRC2 Properties, whose portfolio contains The Graduate in Oxford and other properties.
Chamblee confirmed that the Cotton House at 223 Cotton Row will carry the Marriott Tribute brand, one of about 40 under that flag in the world.
“We couldn’t be more excited to be partnering with the largest hotel reservation system in the world,” Chamblee said.
“This says a lot about the community and the development.”
The Delta influences the decor, “whether it’s art work, wall coverings, fixtures, furnishing.â€ He and the design team explored “the Mississippi Delta for a week. We explored all different parts . . . from hole in the walls to major restaurants like Lusco’s,” Chamblee said in an interview.
“It’ll be good for the immediate market and the whole Delta.”
Cleveland Mayor Billy Nowell said the Cotton House is going to be “a game-changer” for downtown.
Judson Thigpen, executive director of the Cleveland/Bolivar County Chamber of Commerce, said the hotel will “bring a feeling of place to downtown.”
On a practical note, the city cannot accommodate large groups when they come to town, having to send them to nearby towns for lodging, Thigpen said.
Chamblee’s Cotton House Hospitality LLC was approved by the Mississippi Development Authority, throughÂ state law 57-6-1, which could mean roughly a 30 percent reimbursement over a 15-year period, if certain milestones are met.
Chamblee declined to say how much the investment was, but theÂ Mississippi Business Journal obtained though an Open Records Law request to the Mississippi Development Authority details about the project.
The city approved a tax increment financing, or TIF, district, by which tax revenues from the projectÂ will be diverted to it for a limited time. The bond issue connected with it will yield $2 million toward financing the building of the hotel, according to records provided by the MDA.
Payroll will range from $1.2 million in the first year to $1.5 million in the 10th year, assuming 100 employees throughout that period.
Suresh and Dinesh Chawla, two brothers who own a chain of hotels in the Delta qualified for a rebate of roughly $6 million for their $20 million Scion hotel under construction in west Cleveland, the first of a luxury chain planned by the Trump Organization.
The special legislation benefits both Bolivar County, of which Cleveland is county seat, and Lauderdale County, where Meridian is located.
The Mississippi Grammy Museum, which opened in 2016, and the Mississippi Arts and Entertainment Center, or MAX, are cited as the reasons for the law.
Ascent Hospitality Management of Coral Gables, Fla. Is resurrecting the historic Threefoot Building in Meridian in a $22 million project.
“The Chawlas have got what appears to be a really good development as well,” Chamblee said of the West End Scion going up in Cleveland that will be owned by the Chawlas and operated by the Trump Organization.
The Cotton House will employ more than 100, with the vast majority of those jobs being full-time, he said.
The the five-story hotel on Cotton Row will have a rooftop bar and will feature a restaurant operated by Cole Ellis, a James Beard Award-winning chef who is the owner and executive chef of the Delta Meat Market in Cleveland.
Also, the hotel will include Balance Fitness Studio and Delta Blue Jean Co.
Probity Constructon of Florence is the general contractor and the architect is the Renaissance Group of Lakeland, Tenn.
LRC2 Properties is also an investor in the Hotel Indigo, which opened last week in Hattiesburg.
The 100-room Indigo is located at 103 S. 30th Ave. near the main University of Southern Mississippi entrance, according to Chief Financial Officer Seth Miles. It will include a full-service restaurant and bar. It likewise was designed by the Renaissance Group.
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