Developer breaks ground on new Holiday Inn Express

Alabaster and BB&T officials join developer Hasit Patel, fourth from right, in breaking ground on a new Holiday Inn Express on March 18. (Reporter Photo/Neal Wagner)

Alabaster and BB&T officials join developer Hasit Patel, fourth from right, in breaking ground on a new Holiday Inn Express on March 18. (Reporter Photo/Neal Wagner)

By NEAL WAGNER / Managing Editor

ALABASTER – A developer is looking to have a new 69-room, four-story Holiday Inn Express completed by early 2016 after breaking ground on the development during a March 18 ceremony.

City officials met with developer Hasit “Harry” Patel and representatives from BB&T at the site of the new hotel, which is being constructed next to the Candlewood Suites behind the Propst Promenade shopping center, during the groundbreaking ceremony.

“It’s a great city. There’s obviously a lot of development here,” Patel said during an interview before the ceremony. “Without financing from BB&T, this would not be possible.”

Crews likely will begin moving dirt on the site in late March, which will be followed by a 10-month construction period, Patel said. Once completed, the about 41,600-square-foot building will feature a new design for the Holiday Inn Express franchise.

“This will be a new prototype,” Patel said. “It will be the first one in Birmingham, maybe the first in Alabama.”

In addition to 69 rooms, conference and meeting space, the new hotel also will include an indoor heated pool.

With Candlewood as the only major hotel franchise currently located in Alabaster, the Holiday Inn Express development will help to bolster the city’s economy, City Council member Bob Hicks said.

“This is the next step in making Alabaster a destination city,” Hicks said. “Right now, we are seeing a lot of hotel traffic travel north and south of our city.”

Alabaster Mayor Marty Handlon said the new hotel was a “long time coming,” and said it will help the city in multiple ways.

“It means so much for residents because now, when they have family members in town for high school graduations or other city events and Candlewood is booked up, they will have somewhere else to stay,” Handlon said. “The corporate offices in Shelby (West) Corporate Park have grown so much that they have more folks coming in town for business.

“It’s just that convenience factor,” Handlon added. “We have people ask us all the time, ‘When are we getting another hotel?’ We are really excited about it.”