A group of investors called Saffron Hospitality LLC plans to build a new four-story hotel just north of Interstate 70.
The 42,000-square-foot extended-stay hotel will be branded under the franchise flag of Avid, a newer franchise of Intercontinental Hotel Group and described by the industry as a mid-scale brand.
The investors, one of whom was previously part of a different investor group planning a La Quinta north of I-70, say they’ll break ground and start construction on the $7.05 million project as soon as they win approval from the Hays City Commission for a Community Improvement District, according to developer information supplied to the city.
A CID covering the 79-room hotel, with a planned indoor swimming pool, would raise $480,000 over the 20-year life of the district.
“A CID is an added two cents sales tax that is used to reimburse the developer for hard costs,” said City Manager Toby Dougherty, in announcing the agenda Tuesday morning for the Hays City Commission’s next meeting, which is Thursday evening at city hall, 1507 Main.
Hard costs are everything above ground, including landscaping, lighting, infrastructure and utilities, sidewalks, the parking lot and entrance and exit drives, according to the city commission agenda information.
The CID request is two cents sales tax on every dollar for 20 years, according to the city, with the developer reimbursed on a pay-as-you-go basis and no city bonds issued for the project.
The two cents would make the sales tax in the CID 10.25%, not including the city’s transient guest tax.
“The City Commission has authorized CIDs,” Dougherty said, noting other hotels north of Interstate 70 at its intersection with Vine Street and U.S. Highway 183. “The Hilton Garden Inn, the TownePlace Suites and the Holiday Inn Express, all have CIDs in place.”
With Avid planned for just west of Old Chicago restaurant, the hotel location would be a 2.1-acre lot south of 43rd St., immediately south of Walmart, between Mopar and 43rd streets.
Saffron’s petition documents for the CID say the investor group was formed in March 2019 and has six members. They are Dr. Arun Devakonda, Pratima KC and Radhika Ponugoti, all of Oklahoma City; Sunil Kumar Mallavarapu, Herndon, Va.; Dr. Annapurna Veerayyagari, Great Bend; and Kumaravel Thirunavukarasu. Srujan Vusi, with an address of the Rodeway Inn, 3404 Vine St., is listed as manager of Saffron Hospitality.
The petition says the Kansas-based company owns the Rodeway Inn, and is developing a 96-room Four Points by Sheraton in Wichita.
Vusi in January 2018 was part of a Hays-based development company, HKHR Hospitality, that announced an 81-room La Quinta Inn and Suites on the same piece of ground. That construction was supposed to have started in May or June of 2018 with opening targeted for April 2019.
If the city commission on Thursday evening approves the request for the CID, it will set a public hearing for Dec. 12 to take comment from the public.