Courtyard Marriott groundbreaking expected downtown within 120 days; opening pegged for fall 2017

    Now that the Metro Council has approved a special tax incentive for a new Courtyard Marriott at the corner of Florida and Third streets downtown, South Carolina-based developer Windsor Aughtry Hotel Group can begin to move forward with construction of the long-awaited hotel.

    That won’t happen overnight, however.

    Windsor Aughtry first has to select a contractor and pull permits from the city-parish. Company officials say they hope to break ground in about 120 days, which would put the start of construction in late January. The 135-room hotel is expected to take about 18 months to complete and is scheduled to be open in time for the 2017 football season.

    The Metro Council voted 10-1 at its meeting Wednesday to approve a tax increment financing measure to help cover the construction cost of the project, which is expected to be around $20 million. It was an about face for the council, which voted down a near identical TIF proposal for the hotel in July.

    Officials with Windsor Aughtry, the firm that also developed the downtown Hampton Inn in 2014, were thrilled with the results of Wednesday’s council action, which they have long said was critical to the development of the hotel.  

    “Since opening the Hampton Inn, we’ve seen the continuing revitalization of downtown Baton Rouge,” says Windsor Aughtry project manager Bill Fayssoux. “We are very excited to be a part of this growth.”

    —Stephanie Riegel