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Board hears hotel proposal

A new 55-room Sleep Inn Hotel may be coming to Dillwyn.

Rebecca S. Carter

Buckingham County Administrator Rebecca S. Carter stated at the Aug. 12 meeting of the Buckingham County Board of Supervisors (BOS), “As you have been aware I have been working with the president of NHN, Inc., Raj Patel regarding the location of a hotel in Buckingham County since about June of 2018.”

“This endeavor,” Carter continued, “started out as a prospective 25 bedroom motel with the possibility of extending to 50 rooms, with an initial investment of $1.5 million to $2 million.”

“Since that time,” Carter told the BOS, “Mr. Patel and I met with an executive from the Choice Hotels International. In this meeting we discussed and we encouraged a hotel instead of a motel with more room capacity. After months of discussions and conversations with NHN, Inc. I was notified that NHN, Inc. is interested in building in Buckingham County a 55-room Sleep Inn Hotel with a conference room.”

According to Carter the 3.5 acre, county-owned land that the proposed hotel would be built upon is located beside the Dillwyn Waste Site on State Route 750, Wingo Road.

As a result of the proposal’s modification from a motel to a hotel, the initial proposed investment of $1.5 million to $2 million has since changed to $6.2 million.

Carter’s initial proposal from 2018 resulted in an agreement by the BOS to consider certain incentives in order to encourage the possibility of a motel opening in the county. Carter explained that the total proposed incentive package being considered for taxes and property, as a result of the change to a hotel, is now approximately $124,900.

The incentives involve a percentage of tax abatement for the property over a four year period, with total abatements amounting to approximately $89,900.

Incentives also involved a cost not to exceed $40,000 in order to bring water and sewer lines to the property line. Carter explained that a $1,000 per unit facility fee paid by the business and totaling $55,000 would offset this cost.

Carter added that the county would recover all incentives from NHN, Inc. by year six.

When asked about the initial motivation for building a hotel in Buckingham County, Carter said, “The county, due to many public requests, has been pursuing more lodging accommodations for years. We believe since the seminary located here two years ago, the need has increased. Also, there is not a lot of lodging on Route 15 from Zion Crossroads until Farmville and on Route 60 from Midlothian to Lexington.”

“There is one motel in our county and I met with the owner, and he welcomes the new hotel because he said he cannot accommodate all of the lodging needs in our county,” Carter added.

She also stated that one of the bigger incentives for building the hotel would be the addition of a conference room and that events, such as weddings, can take place there.

“We really do not have lodging where wedding receptions and wedding parties and guests can stay under the same roof. Many times, weddings are held outside of the county because we cannot accommodate with a reception area and lodging,” Carter explained.

Patel, NHN Inc. president, listed other possible uses for the conference room such as weddings, family gatherings, graduations, receptions and small public gatherings.

He also stated that county officials would find the conference room useful. “Let’s say you have somebody that comes from out of state or from Northern Virginia to meet county folks here. They can meet there.”

Patel added, “There is not a franchise property in the county. The county would benefit by additional tax revenue and additional employment. Lots of local jobs will be created to construct the property.”

A public hearing has been authorized for Oct. 15 at 6 p.m. regarding the proposal. The hearing will take place in the Peter Francisco Auditorium of the Buckingham County Administration Complex at 13380 W. James Anderson Highway.