Omni Hotel

From Cvillepedia
Jump to: navigation, search

The Omni Hotel is a hotel anchoring the west end of Charlottesville's Downtown Mall. It was built on land that had been taken through eminent domain in the Vinegar Hill urban renewal.

The hotel opened on May 1, 1985. [1]


Logo-small25.jpg This business-related article is a stub. You can help cvillepedia by expanding it.

History

The land for the project was acquired by the Charlottesville Redevelopment and Housing Authority in the 1960's. After the homes and businesses at Vinegar Hill were removed, the land remained vacant for many years. In June 1978, an economic symposium was held to explore the future of the site. This was sponsored by the CRHA and the city government. In July, Council endorsed the concept of a conference center.

In December 1982, Council held a public hearing on a meals tax and an increased lodging tax portions of which would be used to repay bonds for the program through debt service. The tax increase went in place on January 1, 1983.

At a public hearing in October 1983, city manager Cole Hendrix told the public that the project would include a 209 room hotel, a 19,000 square foot conference center, a 25,000 square foot training center for General Electric, and extension of the pedestrian mall. Under the deal, the CRHA would take $9.5 million in bond proceeds and give them to the private developer, who would pay the loan back to the CRHA over time. The property would be taxable. [2]

At the public hearing, many local downtown business officials supported the plan such as Laurence Brunton, Paul Wood, Alvin Clements, Marshall Pryor, Darden Towe, Ann Spence, Craig Redinger, Brian Bowden, Kennedy Smith, Francis Fife and Virgil Marshall. A former resident of Vinegar Hill, Drewary Brown, endorsed the hotel. However, a representative from Ramada Inn said he thought the project was in violation of the Virginia Constitution. Wendell Wood said he opposed the use of public funding for the project but said the work should at least go to a local developer. [2]

City Councilor John Conover abstained from the matter due to a conflict of interest.

Timeline

  • October 24, 1983 – Council holds a public hearing on issuance of $9.5 million in bonds "for completion of the Vinegar Hill Urban Renewal Project." [2]
  • November 11, 1987 – A credit loan agreement is signed to restructure the project's debt
  • October 17, 1988 – City Council passes resolution authorizing $220,000 in transfer to CRHA for Omni Hotel [3] [4]
  • November 6, 1989 – Council passes additional resolution authorizing $220,000 in transfer to CRHA for Omni Hotel [5]

References

  1. Print: Elements, Election Top News, Daniel W. Lehman, Daily Progress, Worrell Newspaper group January 1, 1986, Page A10.
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 Web. Charlottesville City Council meeting minutes, .pdf, Council Chambers, City of Charlottesville, October 24, 1983.
  3. Web. 1988 City Council Resolutions, City of Charlottesville, retrieved October 3, 2020.
  4. Web. Charlottesville City Council meeting minutes, .pdf, Council Chambers, City of Charlottesville, October 17, 1988.. . Also available in older archive.
  5. Web. Charlottesville City Council meeting minutes, .pdf, Council Chambers, City of Charlottesville, November 6, 1989.. . Also available in older archive.