UMW Foundation Hotel, First to Benefit from State Program

A five-story Hyatt Place hotel slated for construction next month by the University of Mary Washington Foundation will be the first to benefit from the new Virginia Tourism Development Financing project, an incentive program adopted by the Virginia General Assembly in 2011.

An architect's rendering of the Hyatt Place at Eagle Village

The announcement was made today from the office of Gov. Bob McDonnell.

“Virginia’s tourism industry provides thousands of good, quality jobs across the state, which is why I have made tourism a key part of my economic development initiatives,” said Gov. McDonnell in a news release.  “In 2011, we passed legislation creating the Tourism Development Financing Program to help increase tourism and new business in Virginia.  Tourism is a multi-billion dollar industry in Virginia that supports hundreds of thousands of jobs in the state.  The Tourism Development Financing Program allows identified, locally-approved tourism projects to retain a portion of local and state sales tax to complete financing for a project to help Virginia’s tourism sector continue to grow.  The project announced today in Fredericksburg is the first to be approved as part of this new program. The new hotel and mixed-use development will allow for more tourism in the city, and will bring greater economic growth and opportunity to the region.”

Jeff Rountree, chief executive officer for the UMW Foundation, said that the foundation is proud to be the recipient of the commonwealth’s first award under the tourism incentive program.

“The combined incentives between the City of Fredericksburg and the Commonwealth of Virginia made the development of our Hyatt Place hotel possible in Fredericksburg and will meet all of the objectives set forth by Gov. McDonnell, including the creation of over 55 new jobs and increased tax revenue for both the locality and the state.  The UMW Foundation and the university continue to play a leading role in economic development in our region and the Governor’s new program has allowed this project to move forward, contributing yet again to the economic well-being of our community.”

The incentive program allows approved tourism projects to temporarily retain a portion of state and local tax revenue generated from the project combined with a matching contribution from the developer to provide gap financing for up to 20 percent of the project’s total cost.

The City of Fredericksburg and Fredericksburg Economic Development Authority are supporting partners of the hotel project.  The project is estimated to generate $3.27 million for the city in tax revenues over 10 years.

The Hyatt Place will be located in the second phase of the Eagle Village mixed-use development adjacent to UMW’s Fredericksburg campus. The hotel, to be situated between Giant Food and the Eagle Village Executive Offices, will include 93 studio rooms or suites, several meeting and conference rooms for public rent and 24-hour food and beverage service for guests. The 66,500-square-foot facility also will include an indoor pool and a fitness center. In addition, the building will house approximately 1,400 square feet of retail space and possibly a day spa, according to Rountree.

Construction will begin in July, after the buildings in the planned hotel space are demolished. The hotel is expected to open by fall 2013.

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News release prepared by: Marty Morrison

About Marty Morrison

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