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Hotel project moving ahead
Construction resumes at Candlewood Suites hotel in Spotsylvania


Date published: 7/7/2011

BY BILL FREEHLING

Construction work has resumed at a long-stalled hotel just off Interstate 95 in Spotsylvania County.

Financing from Richmond-based Franklin Federal Savings Bank allowed construction to start last month on the 88-room Candlewood Suites near the Exit 126 interchange, said Fred Runco, owner of Sterling-based construction management firm ICM Consulting LLC.

Runco said the four-story hotel was 75 percent complete before construction stopped many months ago due to no available financing. Glen Allen-based Massr Hotel LLC is the developer.

Runco, whose firm is overseeing the hotel's construction, said it could now be open as soon as November.

In addition to a lack of financing, which has plagued many hotel projects, the Candlewood Suites ran into problems involving the lot lines and required turn lane, Runco said. Those delayed the project for months.

Runco said some smaller banks are looking for solid projects to lend to, but overall, hotel financing remains tight.

That has stalled perhaps the biggest proposed development in the Fredericksburg area--Kalahari Resorts at Celebrate Virginia South. Officials from Kalahari and project developer the Silver Cos. said they had no updates on Kalahari yesterday.

Other smaller hotel projects in the area are moving forward. Numerous hotels, mostly about 95 rooms, are planned along the U.S. 1 corridor in Stafford County and Fredericksburg's Eagle Village development.

Things may also be looking up for the 95 percent complete Best Western in the town of Orange. The 58-room hotel was bought back for $2.5 million in April by its lender, Virginia Community Bank, and listed for sale with brokerage firm the Mumford Co. for $3.3 million. Bidding ended June 17; company principal David Mumford said "an acceptable offer" has been received and the contract is being negotiated.

The developer of another hotel that stalled in midstream--the Best Western near Exit 118 off I-95 in Spotsylvania--could not be reached for comment.

--Staff reporter Robin Knepper contributed to this report.

Bill Freehling: 540/374-5405
Email: bfreehling@freelancestar.com