East Ridge Council Offers Incentives To Marriott Developer

Friday, February 14, 2020 - by Dick Cook, East Ridge News Online

The East Ridge City Council approved a resolution authorizing more than a million dollars in incentives to a developer who wishes to build a hotel near Jordan Crossing.

The resolution would provide $1.6 million in Border Region state increment money over a 21-year period to Dynamic East Ridge, LLC and its principal, Roshan Amin, who intends to build a Marriott.

Dynamic’s project went before the East Ridge Industrial Development Board on Feb. 4, where developers from Exit 1, LLC, who are developing Jordan Crossing and oppose the project, were present.

The board, in an unprecedented move, did not even consider the proposal and took no action.

At Thursday’s meeting, Russell Gray, an attorney representing Exit 1, LLC, addressed the council urging it to reject any incentives for the project.

Gray said that his clients have done a great deal for East Ridge and that they have never opposed any other development project. However, this project has “unique circumstances.”

Gray said that Exit 1, LLC has a pre-existing ground lease with Dynamic East Ridge to develop a Marriott inside Jordan Crossing. His clients have done site work, engineering, and have lined up investors for the project.

Gray said that the City Council offering incentives to a developer without the blessing of the Industrial Development Board “violates the city’s own provisions.”

He said the IDB must approve in order to avoid the city being caught up in development disputes.

Jonathan Armstrong, the Regional Sales Manager for Dynamic, said the proposed Marriott Town Place Suites hotel is a $13.5 million project that would further enhance the economic growth East Ridge is experiencing.

Armstrong pointed out that Dynamic operates the Holiday Inn in Chattanooga that is home to Rodizio Grill, and a Town Place Suites in Cleveland, Tenn. He noted that both facilities have a patron rating of 4.7 out of five. He noted that the Weston and The Edwin, two up-scale hotels in Chattanooga, have 4.7 ratings.

“Dynamic manages and operates excellent hotels,” Armstrong said.

City Attorney Mark Litchford explained to the council that the new hotel could bring $7 million in revenues to the city over a 20-year period. That money would come from dramatically increased property tax, local option sales taxes, hotel motel taxes, and the Border Region state tax increment.

In other business: the council approved a resolution to pay NABCO Electric $15,809 for emergency repairs to a traffic signaling box that was damaged during a traffic accident.

The council also approved the assignment of rights to a cell tower to Osborne-LaFayette Holdings Inc. on land the organization donated to the city in November of last year.

City Manager Chris Dorsey also informed the council of a stormwater issue on the softball fields at East Ridge High School. He said an engineer is assessing the damage and that it may cost the city between $10,000 and $20,000 to repair.

Mayor Brian Williams pointed out that Tennessee Secretary of State Tre Hargett will be a guest of the city on Feb. 21. He along with others will be at the Community Center to kick off the 2020 Census in the area.


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