Georgia

Hotel construction project replacing iconic department store underway

LAGRANGE, Ga. - A project to bring a hotel to downtown LaGrange is officially underway as of this week.  The iconic Mansour's department store will be torn down and a hotel will be built in its place.

LaGrange native Natalie Kemp remembers shopping at Mansour's growing up.

"It used to be thriving.  People would come from all over.  It brought a lot of attention to LaGrange.  My dad used to work there so, I mean I was always there as a kid, but it kind of it slowly kind of dwindled away.  It was kind of a thriving business in LaGrange," Kemp said.

Mansour's was at the location on W. Lafayette Square since the 1940s.  Bobby Carmichael with the Downtown LaGrange Development Authority says Mansour's was a landmark in LaGrange for decades.

"The business closed about six years ago and the city acquired the property and we've contracted with a group out of Carrollton to build the Marriott Courtyard," Carmichael said.

Carmichael says the Marriott will have 87 rooms.

"Having 65 to or 70 percent occupancy on any given night will put another 65 or 70 people downtown visiting our restaurants," he said.

Carmichael thinks the hotel will benefit LaGrange's downtown district.

"This will be a great people attractor for downtown.  We have some great hotels that are out on the interstate.  We don't have one in the downtown district so, we think this will bring people downtown to go to our restaurants and visit our merchants in the downtown district," Carmichael explained.

Kemp works in a bridal store across the square from the hotel site.

"We might get some new customers which would be cool.  It's a cool spot to have a hotel.  I mean we don't really have anything like that at all and for local businesses it's probably going to be a really good idea," Kemp said.

The Callaway Foundation is donating $4 million to build a public parking deck behind the hotel.  Carmichael says the total project will cost $15 million.  He expects the hotel to be open within the next 16 to 18 months.

  

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