Montgomery, Al. (WSFA) -- It could very well be the sign of something new on the way. WSFA 12 News has learned a contract has been signed by Colonial Bank and a buyer but the deal has not closed at this point.
12 News has also learned the buyer is from out of state and right now that buyer is doing a feasibility study on the property located at the corner of Bibb and Commerce. The only thing commercial real estate agent John Stanley will say is the buyer is considering several uses for the property. Stanley represents Colonial Bank in the impending deal. However, WSFA 12 News may have found a clue.
"We have been told a major hotel brand is looking in downtown Montgomery," said Dawn Hathcock, Vice President of the Montgomery Area Chamber of Commerce.
Hathcock didn't know which hotel chain but there is speculation that it may be Hyatt or Hilton. If the deal goes through and the buyer builds a hotel, does downtown Montgomery really need additional hotel rooms? After all you already have Embassy Suites, the Hampton Inn is on the way, and then of course you have the new $200 million convention center and hotel, right across the street from the property that's under contract.
"That will only make us stronger as we go out and look for more groups to come, more room supply helps the city," Hathcock said.
"There is always a chance of over-saturation," said Retirement Systems of Alabama CEO David Bronner.
Bronner concedes failure is always a possibility in business but agrees with Hathcock a new hotel would only increase the city's chances of landing more visitors and conventions.
"Hotels especially downtown hotels are built with the basis you'll lose money in the first two or three years until you get rolling. This presents more opportunities to expand downtown," Bronner said.
For now no one is saying for certain just what will go on the corner of Bibb and Commerce. No deal yet, no word on who may be checking in.
If anything is built you probably won't see any dirt moving until the fall. That's assuming both parties close on the deal.