by: Nicole Barrios / Austin Community Newspapers
A $20 million Embassy Suites Hotel and Conference Center is set to bring at least 60 jobs to the city after the Round Rock City Council on Thursday approved an economic development agreement with hotel developers.
Per the agreement, project developer Stonemill Hospitality LLC is set to build a $20 million hotel and convention center on about 6 acres of land near the Bass Pro Shops and Round Rock Premium Outlets, said Ben White, vice president of economic development at the Round Rock Chamber.
It will be a brand new hotel and convention center built from the ground up, he said.
The company is set to construct a 160-room hotel with at least 14,000 square feet of convention and meeting space, per the agreement.
“We’ve been working on this project for quite some time, and with this current development group for several months, and are excited to get this to the finish line,” White said.
Barry Patel, principal partner at Stonemill and mayor of South Padre Island, thanked the city for their work on the project.
“I promise that the economic development help that we’re getting, the monies will be well spent and well invested for the future of Round Rock and we expect to bring much good business to Round Rock,” he said.
Pradip Mulji, a partner at Stonemill, said the hotel is expected to be about five stories tall. “We’re excited about (the development),” he said. “There’s a good market out there and we see very good possibilities.”
Per the agreement, 57 percent of the hotel occupancy tax generated by the hotel will be rebated back to Stonemill each quarter for the first 10 years or up to $4 million, whichever comes first, White said. Officials anticipate the hotel to open in Round Rock in 2018, he said.
White said city officials would not typically incentivize a hotel, but decided to offer the deal since this project brings convention center space to the north side of the city. The Austin Marriott North hotel has convention space that serves the south side of the city, he said.
The planned hotel will also provide lodging for nearby Baylor Scott & White Medical Center-Round Rock, people shopping locally and people visiting the area during special events at Old Settlers Park, he said.
The city is currently home to 27 different hotels, motels and inns, with two new hotels set to open this summer, according to the Round Rock Convention and Visitors Bureau website.