Regions Bank and Phelps Dunbar will start moving into the II City Plaza office building within February, and the building should soon be half occupied. Mike Wampold, who is developing the 260,000-square-foot building, says he’s working on a couple of more leases. If those deals go through—and Wampold says he should know in the next month or so—then II City Plaza will be about 80% occupied. “We fully believe in 2009, we’ll have all of City Plaza and II City Plaza leased,” he says. Plans are still in the works to put an “urban coffee house” in the first floor of the new office building. Once work is finished and tenants start to move in, then Wampold says potential tenants will have a good idea of what the new office building will be like.
Meanwhile, Wampold says he’s still going ahead with plans to turn the partially completed Jimmy Swaggart Ministries dorm into a Marriott Renaissance hotel, but that $70 million project has been stymied by the national credit crunch. “It’s difficult to get financing because hotels are out of favor with lenders,” he says. “It’s kind of like how condos were in the late 1980s and early 1990s.”—Timothy Boone