Remarks from developer of proposed Hotel/Water Park in East Ridge

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East Ridge

EAST RIDGE, Tennessee (WDEF) – A developer is trying to save his plan for a hotel and water park near the East Ridge exit on I 75.

Roshan Amin of the Dynamic Group is addressing the East Ridge City Council tonight.

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He is answering to criticism by members of a rival development group at Exit One.

Here is his statement:

I am scheduled to speak to the City Council about the details of our project this evening — a Marriott hotel and indoor water park at Ringgold and Frawley Roads — which received zoning approval from the East Ridge Planning Commission a few weeks ago. In just the last two days, however, we have heard that members of the Exit One LLC development group are opposed to my project. In light of this, it seem my time should be spent defending our development team, instead of talking about the details of our project.

 

After we heard about the East Ridge/Exit One, LLC project from one of its members, both parties spent several months organizing a development agreement for the construction of a hotel on the Exit One LLC site. After months, both parties came to an agreement to develop a Marriott branded 88-room Towne Place Suites Hotel. 

During the due diligence period, it became apparent that the $800,000 per acre price tag that the Exit One LLC members required was exorbitantly higher than any comparable real estate in the area. This issue was compounded by the terms of the purchase which was structured as a 99-year lease that would increase substantially in 2042 when the Border Region Tax Incentive expires. Additionally, and perhaps most egregiously, over the course of 12 months, Exit One LLC pushed our site location to the absolute rear the overall site, pushing our project much further from the interstate. 

During this extended stalling period, we were able to flesh out some additional ideas to enhance our overall project by bringing an amusement and/or theme park to East Ridge. Our investors and development team loved the idea and we began to push hard for both projects at the Exit One LLC and Exit One II, LLC sites. 

Unfortunately, as we continued to tweak our business plan and engage investors, it became clear that leasing a site at such an exorbitant price was no longer fiscally sound. In short, the lease term, increased construction cost, and the drawn out pre-development period rendered the project impossible. In addition, Exit One members had made it abundantly clear that a hotel was not on the top of their agenda, as it was on ours.

Since we had already made a commitment to Marriott to develop a Towne Place Suites, my partner in Atlas Land & Development, Tommy Massengale, found a new site at 730 Frawley Road, and we applied for a site change with Marriott, which is now approved. Marriott is supportive of the new location, an increase in the room count to 104 rooms, and the plan of an indoor water park adjacent to the hotel. We are back on track!

After the new project site was located, we worked hard as a show of good faith with the Exit One LLC members and offered to bring a different hotel, a Marriott FourPoints, to their site. The reality is that I wanted to bring a second new Marriott hotel to East Ridge. The newly re-branded Marriott FourPoint Hotels are absolutely stunning and feature a Lobby Bar, generating additional tax revenue and profit for the Exit One LLC members. However, this proposal was rejected.

Now I am hearing that they are opposing my project as it exists now. I want to say to the members of the City Council and the citizens of East Ridge that we are doing exactly what a good developer and a good steward to the community should do. We are Tennesseans and we choose to live, work and play in our community. We will create 100 permanent new jobs with this Hotel and Water Park. We will raise the bar for hotels in East Ridge and the entire East Ridge commerce market, which will encourage visitors of Camp Jordan and East Ridge to stay in East Ridge instead of going to Shallowford Road, Ringgold, or downtown Chattanooga to sleep.  

We believe our project offers the City Council an opportunity to bring another big win to East Ridge by saying yes to a developer with a proven track record of delivering. Our project will bring $27 million of investment into the community, throw off $10 million in taxable gross revenue annually, increase property taxes received by the community and create new revenue for convenience stores, gas stations, restaurants, and small business as East Ridge continues to thrive, including the Border Region Tax Incentive to the City from the sales taxes received by the State of Tennessee.

We want to be in East Ridge. However, if the City Council bows to pressure from Exit One LLC members, and says no to our project, we will be forced to find site options outside of East Ridge. 

 

We are the developers you want in your community. We have more plans to continue to grow East Ridge, TN the right way. We take action and show results. If the City approves, we intend on commencing the Hotel construction in the summer of 2019 and starting the water park around the same time. The water park could lag about six months behind the hotel, but they are both scheduled to open in 2020. 

We are excited about this opportunity and look forward to adding value to our community. We hope the members of the City Council see the value of what we are planning to do for East Ridge. Up to this point, we have been treated very fairly by the City of East Ridge and its officials. We ask that you consider our project based on the tremendous benefits it will bring to the City, to its people and to the other businesses here. Thank you.

 

With Best Regards,

 

Roshan Amin,

President & Chief Executive Officer

Dynamic Group

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