Hilton construction will start soon

Published 3:13 pm Thursday, August 18, 2016

Construction of a four-story, 106-room Tru by Hilton Hotel will begin in mid-September, and could open 12 months from start of construction.

The hotel will be built at the former site of a Lutheran church between South Main Street and Perry Drive south of Walmart.

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Hilton describes a “Tru” hotel as “a revolutionary new midscale brand from Hilton Worldwide designed to offer business and leisure travelers a simplified and spirited experience that is grounded in value.”

An outdoor pool and hot tub are in the hotel’s plans, said Laura Schultz, an account executive with PadillaCRT, a New York-based public relations agency.

“We are excited to have Hilton’s newest hotel brand, Tru, coming to Farmville,” Farmville Mayor David Whitus said. “It is a more modern, contemporary designed hotel that caters to a younger generation, namely the millennials. We think that all generations will welcome it here in Farmville. Being located on South Main Street between Longwood and Hampden-Sydney and near the bypass, is a prime location that should serve them well.”

Whitus said the project was “clearly another example of a thriving and growing community.”

Glen Allen-based Kalyan Hospitality is the project developer, according to Schultz. According to the firm’s president, Nick Patel, up to 25 people could be employed once the hotel opens.

“Since its inception, the company’s portfolio has grown to 15 hotels and encompasses 1,434 rooms,” Kalyan’s website notes. “In addition, the company is always seeking opportunities in growing markets and currently has two additional properties under construction and two hotels in development.”

According to Town Manager Gerald Spates, the property is zoned for such development.

No restaurant will be included in the facility, Spates said. “It looks like it’ll be a nice addition to Farmville,” he said.

Farmville Area Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Joy Stump said the community runs short of hotel rooms, often during graduation weekends and other times during the year.

“Being able to accommodate more visitors is always a good thing,” Stump said.

Chamber Board of Directors Chairman Brad Watson said it “looks like a wonderful addition” to the area, bringing what he said is “much needed, higher-end” hotel space to the town.

“There’s no question about it,” Spates said of the positive impact the hotel will have on Farmville. “The area where this one’s (going to be) located is probably the highest traffic area that we have, and I think the location, it’s just a great location … They’ll completely renovate that whole site.”

He said the former church building would be torn down.

Spates said the project, along with the new planned Holiday Inn Express near the Hampton Inn off East Third Street, speaks volumes for the town.

“It’s great that we have all this construction going on. I think that reflects back on council (being) … business friendly.”

Francis Hospitality Inc. had previously planned a 75 to 85-room hotel at the site, which never came to fruition.