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New hotel given green light
Hampton Inn.jpg
A 74-room, three-story Hampton Inn hotel cleared its final pre-construction hurdle Tuesday. Construction time is estimated at nine to 14 months.

Construction of a Hampton Inn on Sparta Street can now begin with approval from the city on how the property will be used.

McMinnville’s Regional Planning Commission met Tuesday and unanimously approved a final plat request from property owner David Hunt, who plans to construct two hotels and a strip mall for a restaurant and/ or retail space across the street from Saint Thomas River Park Hospital.

Hunt was in attendance at the meeting. His plat request places the restaurant/ retail space along the road front. Immediately behind it are the two hotels.

While Hunt has been hush-hush about the name of the restaurant, he did reveal at this meeting it will be a Mexican restaurant.

“It’s going to be authentic Mexican food, a well-known chain,” said Hunt. 

He also revealed the name for his development -- “The Avenue of McMinnville.” 

 “If the Hampton Inn has a good occupancy rate in its first year, then we’ll proceed with construction of a Marriott,” said Hunt, who expressed a desire to see an occupancy rate of 80 to 85 percent. “I think it will do well. There’s a need in this community.”

Rachel Kirby, Regional Planning Commission member, voiced approval. 

“This is something that’s badly needed in Warren County,” she said. “This will bring weddings back to town. This will being family reunions back to town. We don’t have a facility to accommodate such events. People are going out of town.”

One of those places negatively affected will be Manchester.

“Right now, Manchester receives a lot of business from Warren County,” said Hunt. “They definitely won’t like this development. We’ll be providing people a nice place to stay in Warren County and that will take business away from them.”

Commission members Kirby, Connan Jones, Jim Brock, Jerry Williamson and David Marttala approved Hunt’s request on how the property will be divided to accommodate construction of two hotels and a strip mall.