Hotel proposed for Austin

Published 2:29 pm Saturday, August 15, 2009

A few new rooms could be on their way to Austin.

A 61-bed hotel development is being considered by by city council, and construction could begin as early as next month.

The proposal is scheduled for discussion during the council’s Monday work session.

Email newsletter signup

The hotel would go on land owned by Kermit Watts, owner of the Austin Auto Truck Plaza/Watts Cookin’, and behind nearby KAAL-TV, according to city documents.

The proposed development would be a three-story building, with a canopied entrance and 73 parking spots in front. City documents do not specify what the name of the hotel would be.

City staff would want a developer’s agreement completed to assure all necessary conditions are met before issuing the certificate of occupancy, according to a memo to council. The agreement would help the developer meet the proposed schedule.

Watts said Friday that he is the process of selling two acres of his nine-acre property to the developer. Hotel construction would then go on independently of Watts, the truck stop owner said.

Both Watts and Austin Community Development Director Craig Hoium said the name of the developer is not being disclosed because of the pending paperwork.

That information will likely be released in about a week, Hoium said.

Watts said he would welcome a hotel nearby.

“I think it’ll be a great asset to this piece of property and the city of Austin,” he said.

Cheryl Corey, executive director of the Austin Convention and Visitors Bureau, said she had first heard of the proposal about a year ago and also thinks a new hotel would be good for Austin.

“Yes, there are definitely weekends in Austin where hotels are full,” she said. “I do see a need.”

Corey said she was previously unsure if the proposal would go forward because of the down economy.

“Like everybody, we’re just waiting to see what happens and what’s the next step,” she said.