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Major downtown road closed as demolition begins for new hotel

COLUMBUS, Ga. (WRBL) - After a couple of years of starts and stops, demolition began this week on the former Aaron's Rents building in downtown Columbus, said Tracy Sayers, Pezold Management Chief Operating Officer.

The building is being torn down to make room for a $12 million downtown hotel at the northwest corner of 12th Street and Broadway. A new 80-plus room Hampton Inn is scheduled to open late next year or early 2020, Sayers said.

"We're clawing it down right now," Sayers said Tuesday afternoon.

The demolition and construction work is not going to come without its challenges for those who frequent downtown or attend Columbus State University, which has its education and nursing schools across 12th Street from the site. On Monday afternoon, 12th Street, which is one way going west from Veterans Parkway to Bay Avenue, was closed at Broadway. It is scheduled to be closed until Dec. 10, Columbus Director of Engineering Donna Newman said.

Sayers hopes the demolition work can  be completed before the scheduled reopening date of that section of 12th Street.

"We are hoping to have it down in the next four or five days," he said.

The Pezold companies had hoped to start construction in 2016, but that was delayed as they wrestled with projected costs.

The Hampton Inn will be the second  Jack Pezold-owned property along Broadway. He owns the 177-room Marriott at the intersection of Ninth Street and Front Avenue, adjacent to the Columbus Convention & Trade Center. The Cannon Brew Pub, a 1000 block restaurant between the two hotel sites, is also owned and operated by Valley Hospitality, a Pezold company.


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