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Putnam Commission Approves Mayor To Pursue Hotel On Tennessee Avenue

/ The Upper Cumberland's News Leader
Putnam Commission Approves Mayor To Pursue Hotel On Tennessee Avenue

A developer has expressed interest in building a hotel next to the proposed Putnam County expo event center on Tennessee Avenue.

Mayor Randy Porter gave the report to county commissioners Monday night. Porter said the developer wants to use three acres to construct a building with about 110 rooms.

“County Attorney Jeff Jones and I have met with them two or three times, twice, and they are very interested in doing something,” Porter said. “In our minds, it would dramatically increase our chances to bring events to that location.”

Porter sited a study Monday that the county used in 2016 when it was considering a convention center in Cookeville. Porter said based on those numbers, he believes an event would be held at the expo center every three out of four days with the hotel.

“Would bring a lot of folks to Putnam County,” Porter said. “They’d come, spend their dollars, hotel stays, shopping, eating and so fourth and go home. It would be tourism dollars that we bring in.”

After the report, Porter asked the commission for approval to further investigate the option. Commissioners voted for Porter and Jones to create a plan with the hotel to later present to the commission.

“Do we sell them the property, do we do a lease purchase with them on the property over a 10-year, 20-year period or do we just do a lease with them where the county maintains ownership where the hotel seats on?” Porter said. “There are all kinds of options that we could do.”

Porter said the hotel developer wants to remain unidentified but it is a well-known name. Porter said the proposed site would be in walking distance from the event center.

“If this all works out, all we would do is (…) move the parking lot down where the future expansions are and we keep the same amount of parking,” Porter said.

Included in the commission’s motion was permission for Porter to put out a request for other interested developers. Porter said he would follow this with a request for qualifications to make sure interested parties can build what the county wants.

Several commissioners expressed concern of parking availability. Porter said parking would remain the same at about 3,500 spaces. The event center that would be a part of the new fairgrounds will be about 10,000-20,000 square feet, according to Porter.


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