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Bid process begins for hotel infrastructure

Bids are being solicited from construction contractors for infrastructure work on Willow Street to accommodate a proposed boutique hotel on former Spencer’s textile mill property there.

That process was set in motion by a vote of the Mount Airy Board of Commissioners during its last meeting on Sept. 2, which authorized city staff members to advertise for bids involving various facets of the infrastructure project.

Mount Airy officials have agreed to foot the bill for those improvements having an estimated price tag of about $3 million, which Surry County officials have committed $1.5 million toward.

An estimated $1.63 million of the total will provide parking spaces for the hotel that Sunhouse Hospitality, LLC, a private group headquartered in Cary, is seeking to develop.

The hotel is to contain 70 to 80 rooms and operate under a national brand, according to a redevelopment agreement between Sunhouse and the municipality which was approved in August. It is eyed for the Sparger Building, a large structure fronting Willow Street.

Sunhouse, which owns and manages Hampton Inn by Hilton on Rockford Street, also is looking to make use of another former Spencer’s building nearby, “The Cube,” as part of its expected $10 million investment.

This involves plans for a convention-type market center including meeting space in an old dye house portion of that structure.

A bid-solicitation notice published Sunday states that the Phase 2 infrastructure work for Willow Street will encompass utility line replacements including water, sewer and storm drainage; street improvements (asphalt paving, sidewalks and curbing); and related components.

Sealed bids will be received from contractors until 2 p.m. on Oct. 13 and then opened publicly and read aloud.

Instructions on how to review contract documents and other relevant information are included in the notice published.

Library board action

Also during their last meeting, the city commissioners reappointed members to the Mount Airy Library Board. It oversees operations at the facility that is part of the Northwestern Regional Library system.

Those reappointed were Steve Scott, Becky Keesler and Jane Tesh, whose terms had expired. They were approved for new three-year terms each ending on July 31, 2024.

The term of a fourth Mount Airy Library Board member, Marie Caesar, also had expired, but she elected not to seek reappointment.

Cathy Akers was appointed to fill that vacancy with the library group for a three-year term also expiring on July 31, 2024.



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