CONNIE SWINNEY • STAFF WRITER
MARBLE FALLS — Officials have unveiled the proposed design for a hotel/conference center, expected to be under construction by late summer should all the investment, franchise, and development pieces fall into place.
A series of renderings, released by Seaux Pierce Architecture, has offered the first hint at what the multimillion-dollar project, launched as a private-public partnership, could become.
“These plans have come together based on input from the (proposed hotel) operator, from the development team,” said Christian Fletcher, executive director of the Marble Falls Economic Development Corp. “It includes room layouts and all levels of the hotel and conference center project.”
The 151 rooms are one part of the five-level, 130,000-square-foot structure.
The ground floor would cover 40,000 square feet and include a restaurant, a lobby, offices, a meeting space, and a ballroom.
“There’s a lot public area around (the outside of) it, a lot of sidewalks, connections to what we want to do in Johnson and Lakeside parks as well as the way we want to connect back to the Main Street district,” Fletcher said. “The restaurant is a key component to this. A lot of public interaction is what we’re planning with this space.”
Marble Falls city officials released the images March 24 during a Coffee with the Mayor event.
“This helps us put a finer point on each individual element based on input from all of the parties who are involved in this project,” Fletcher said of the architectural renderings.
Officials chose general contractor Austin Commercial, which is reportedly working on a final maximum price for the job that is estimated to cost between $26.5 million and $28.5 million.
If potential investors agree on a dollar figure then possible private funding and a construction date could be announced.
“We’re still hoping for a late summer groundbreaking,” Fletcher said.
The city of Marble Falls through EDC bond funding has committed approximately $6.5 million toward construction of the project.
“EDC funds are in hand in an account, haven’t been touched yet, and they won’t be touched until mobilization begins on the project,” Fletcher said. “The private lender, who our development partners have selected, (is) waiting on the guaranteed maximum price contract from the general contractor.”
Another component of the project involves the impending announcement of a possible name-brand hotel operator that could sign onto the project.
“There’s not been an official announcement. We know who we want to work with, and they’ve been very happy with the progress of the project,” Fletcher said. “(The potential hotel operators) have expended thousands of man hours on consulting on how the project will look, but until that operating agreement is signed, we won’t be able to announce who it is.”
Other aspects of the architectural design include a parking garage along Yett Street on the north side of the hotel/conference center.
“We’re all very pleased with the way it takes advantage of the site, and the progress that’s been made and the style, too,” he said. “We want it to feel like it fits.
“It will be spectacular for people coming into the lobby with the amount of glass and open elevation, two stories, to maximize the lake view and views of the bridge,” he added.