Hefty Price Tag

By: Donald Robinson
By: Donald Robinson

After 12 years of trying to put together a public-private deal to develop the Stonewall Jackson Hotel, the City of Staunton finally got one.

"You can't do a public-private partnership without a private investor to dance," said Bill Hamilton of the Economic Development Office. "No one wanted to dance until they saw the evidence of where this community was headed, what it cared about and how it was willing to invest in itself."

And that investing paid off, the city finally has something to offer.

"The key selling points to this project were the new parking garage, the art history center and the Blackfriars Theater," said City Manager Bob Stripling.

More than $19 million will be invested in the Stonewall Jackson project. About 96 hotel rooms will be renovated into 64, while preserving the lobby of the hotel and its ballroom.

"The city is going to invest $10 million to create a brand new conference center and 56 logging rooms which will be an important part of the hotel project," said Stripling.

The city will fund its part of the project by selling more than $8.5 million in general obligation bonds and applying for a $1 million community development grant.

Stripling says this project will create revenue for other city projects.

"We want to reinvest in the community in projects like improvements to public schools, additions to public safety and increased street maintenance," said Stripling.

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