Nacogdoches City Council set to vote on agreement to buy, renovate Hotel Fredonia

Nacogdoches City Council set to vote on agreement to buy, renovate Hotel Fredonia
Source: KTRE Staff
Source: KTRE Staff

NACOGDOCHES, TX (KTRE) - On Tuesday, Sept. 8, the Nacogdoches City Council will vote on an agreement between the city and Fredonia Hospitality LLC about the renovation and re-opening of Hotel Fredonia.

Richard DeWitt, who is the owner of the Clear Springs and Auntie Pasta's restaurants in Nacogdoches, is currently in an option period to buy the hotel. According to a press release from the City of Nacogdoches DeWitt plans to renovate the facility "in order to create a unique destination boutique hotel that is one of a kind for East Texas."

"The city has been working toward this agreement for some time and we are thrilled to be one step closer as this is a great achievement between the private and public sector," said Nacogdoches Mayor Roger Van Horn. "We know Mr. DeWitt will exercise the same amount of professionalism as with his other business endeavors, which will result in yet another success for Nacogdoches."

The project qualifies for rebates of hotel-motel taxes from the city.

"The proposed agreement will allow the hotel to obtain the funds it specifically generates," the press release stated. "It is estimated that the hotel will receive 150,000 dollars in hotel-motel taxes per year for ten years."

However, another part of the agreement requires DeWitt to invest at least $9 million in the hotel through its purchase, restoration, preservation, and rehabilitation costs. Plans call for the renovated Fredonia Hotel to hire about 80 full-time employees, the press release stated.

"An economic impact report stated that the facility projects annual sales of 4.1 million dollars in the first year and 6.7 million dollars by year 5," the press release stated. "It is also expected to generate an estimated 27,627,835 dollars in salaries for direct and indirect employees during the first ten years."

An agreement in regard to House Bill 1964, which was authored by State Rep. Travis Clardy, R-Nacogdoches, is also pending. The agreement will allow Fredonia Hospitality LLC to obtain state hotel and occupancy sales use taxes.

"This agreement and its details are currently being reviewed and will be outlined in a future contract," the press release stated.

Nacogdoches' historic Hotel Fredonia closed its doors in November 2013, following a two-year cash flow problem. In all, 90 employees were hired and laid off by then-owner Susan Pack Reents. Reents attributed a downturn in the economy, the pull out of occupants associated with the gas industry and the loss of business to tax free-venues for the closure.

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