Regency Remodeling Proposed
The owners of the Regency said they want a 300-spot parking garage, and a new six-story Hyatt Place Hotel to be built on the current site.
However, there is still a long way to go before we see any bulldozers at the site. The Regency Hotel, built in the mid-1960s, lies in the heart of busy downtown Columbia.
If a proposed remodeling plan gets approval, the area will be even busier. Regency owners want to sell their two parking lots just to the north, a total of about 30,000 square feet, to the city, which would then build a 300-spot parking garage.
This would be a dream come true to Hannah Zimmerman, who lives just a few feet from the current parking lots.
"Benefits would be, they're not parking in our parking lot, because a lot of times these fill up and they park by my house," she said. "And I don't see any real consequences. There will be more traffic on the weekends, but that's fine."
The new hotel will cost around $16 million, with the parking garage estimated at $7 million. According to Regency co-owner Michael Ebert, the hotel would then lease about a hundred spots for a 50-year period, leaving the rest for public parking.
Ebert wants to acquire a Transportation Development District, or a T.D.D., which would authorize a sales tax increase on money spent at the new hotel. Some residents say the plan is definitely worth it.
"The downtown area is really developing very nicely, so I think this would be a good addition to the overall ambiance and atmosphere downtown," downtown employee Mike Chippendale said.
Ebert said he expects to spend the next two to three months finalizing building plans and working with the city to hammer out the remaining details of the project.
And after that gets done, he said it will take them about 15 months to complete construction.