Proposed hotel behind schedule

Published 6:43 am Monday, November 23, 2009

A hotel development planned to go up near Watts Cookin’ in Austin is behind schedule, but those involved are hopeful construction starts soon.

The proposed 61-bed hotel received the go-ahead from city council in September and the developer, South Dakota-based Austin Lodging, L.L.C., was looking to break ground soon after.

However, the project is held up right now. Lawrence Waldron with HHK Construction, the site’s general contractor, did not discuss why construction has been delayed but did say a start date should come soon.

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Kermit Watts, who owns Watts Cookin’ and has agreed to sell land to make the hotel a reality, said everyone involved is a bit frustrated by the delay but ready to get going.

“It’s just moving slower than everyone would like,” he said.

The 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.

Watts said previously that he’d welcome the new neighbor.

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

Watts also said that he’s been told poor winter weather won’t stop construction from going forward.

Cheryl Corey, executive director of the Austin Convention and Visitors Bureau, said previously that she 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.”