The building express: Workers fight delays to finish hotelPublished 12:01am Tuesday, April 2, 2013
NATCHEZ — Rain may have delayed construction of the Holiday Inn Express and Suites on Canal Street, but contractors say they’re working to complete the project by late May.
The $5.5 million, 81-room hotel is in the final stages of construction with drywall being finished on the first of four floors before workers from DDG Construction Inc. will begin painting and installing carpet.
Vince Manzelli, site superintendent, said the unexpected rains pushed the project back a few months.
“Basically the weather has just been killing us,” Manzelli said. “We’re getting real close though. The building is completely insulated, and we’ve put the roof on.”
Desai Hotel Group President Sunny Desai first purchased the land for the hotel in 2010.
Issues with getting permits and site plan approval from the city delayed initial construction plans. Those delays included the city’s planning department-sending plans for the hotel to a third-party firm in Chicago for review to ensure the plans met the International Building Code.
After finally clearing those hurdles, Desai said construction crews were hit with a series of rainy days throughout the project that slowed things down.
“It seems that we’ve finally gotten out of the bad, rainy days and are finally back on track,” Desai said. “This has been one of our slower projects because of the rain, but everything seems to be moving right along now.
“The hotel, the site and the exterior look good, and we’re really happy with it right now.”
Once construction is complete, the Holiday Inn Express and Suites will become the fourth new hotel constructed in Natchez since 2007.
“We’re very excited about this project,” Desai said. “We like Natchez as a city, and we look forward to working with everyone to make sure we provide the best hospitality and services to everyone there.”
The city and the county both approved tax increment-financing plans in 2011 to pay a portion of the ad valorem taxes generated by the hotel toward infrastructure improvements near the hotel’s site.