Updated: Crowne Plaza Hotel no longer slated to open in Oak Ridge North, site to be cleared

Updated 9:30 a.m., Oct. 23

At Monday night's Oak Ridge North City Council meeting, council members discussed the cancelation of The Crowne Plaza Hotel and unanimously approved a motion to authorize city staff to seek bids on abating nuisance violations and cleaning up the hotel construction site.

"Apparently the [owner] is going to pull away from the [project] and look at what the options are," said Mayor Jim Kuykendall. "As you all know, we've had a lot of issues with the easement back there. Let me reiterate and say the city has no money involved in this project. Anything that has been spent has been given back to the city and we are not out one dime."

Building official John Beisert said after council members approved a motion to seek bids, the concrete for the hotel project will be picked up and the construction zone will be cleaned up by next week.

Posted 12:30 p.m., Oct. 22

After months of delay and speculation, Oak Ridge North officials announced Oct. 23 that The Crowne Plaza Hotel & Conference Center, originally planned at the intersection of I-45 and Robinson Road, will no longer be developed in the city.

Mayor Jim Kuykendall said the city has been informally notified that the Crown Plaza Hotel, which was originally supposed to open in mid-2017, will not be developed as planned.

"This is disappointing news for the city as it was an important economic development opportunity with promising impacts," Kuykendall said. "We are currently working with the property owner on clean up of the site. While we did have an incentive agreement with the hotel, none of the incentives were triggered. We look forward to the future development of this important tract at the gates of our city."

Oak Ridge North city officials and residents gathered last July to officially break ground on The Crowne Plaza Hotel & Conference Center. The project was expected to increase sales tax revenue for the city for fiscal year 2017-18 but due to the hotel's failure to materialize, the city did not reach the projected sales tax revenue amount of $2,084,658 for FY 2017-18 and fell short at $1.8 million.