Downtown Hampton Hotel and Suites Case Study
In 2004, Shailesh Patel, a local developer, approached Susan Williams about his need for government relations and public relations assistance to get his planned Downtown Hampton Hotel and Suites built on a very prominent block of downtown Knoxville. The challenge was threefold: 1) build a hotel that would be acceptable to the adjacent property owners 2) work with Knox Heritage, an organization responsible for preservation of historic properties, to determine what to do with the Mary Boyce Temple house next door to Mr. Patel’s property and 3) to try to get a PILOT (payment in lieu of taxes) from the Industrial Development Board and City Council in order to build on a downtown blighted area.
Susan Williams implemented a plan that would create a “downtown neighbors and historic preservationist group” that met regularly to give input on the design of the Hampton and to become our advocate for the building as we moved into the government relations phase of the plan. Consequently by the time we were to present the plan to the IDB and to City Council, we had advocates that included the adjacent property owners, the churches located nearby, Knox Heritage and even an owner who had to relocate due to the demolition of his building. It took almost two years to make this happen but the final results were worth it.
- The Downtown Hampton Hotel and Suites is located on the corner of the main entrance to downtown Knoxville and across the street from the Convention Center.
- Knox Heritage received a major contribution from the developer to “save” the Mary Boyce Temple home, a major historic preservation accomplishment.
- The developer was able to get a large PILOT which enabled him to enhance the design and construction of the hotel so that it would match the style of the buildings in the adjacent neighborhood.
- A ribbon-cutting attended by the Mayor, members of City Council, Knox Heritage members, and “neighbors” was held to launch the hotel’s marketing campaign and to celebrate the success of the two and one half year plan’s completion.