City commissioners approved Rimrock Development as the developer for a Marriott brand hotel on the Oglethorpe block in downtown Brunswick at Wednesday’s city commission meeting.
Al Verheyn, vice chair of the city’s Urban Redevelopment Agency, told commissioners his organization would proceed with negotiations with the company to work out the final details, which must be approved city officials.
The company will spend between $15 million and $17 million of its own money to build the four to five story hotel, with between 100 and 150 rooms, he said.
“They see the need. They see the growth,” Verheyn said. “The URA will come back to the city for final approval.”
The vote was 3-0, with commissioner Vincent Williams abstaining, even though he said he supported the motion to approve Rimrock. Commissioner Felicia Harris was unable to attend Wednesday’s meeting, and Williams asked to table the vote until the next meeting to get her feedback.
During the public comment period, Verheyn made a presentation to give commissioners an alternative location for a proposed Coastal Plain League baseball stadium.
Instead of the preferred location of Howard Coffin Park, Verheyn said Edo Miller Park could be modified to be the home field for the baseball league. The fences could be moved about 20 feet to give the park the dimensions to compare with 15 ballparks in the league.
And the playing conditions are already good enough to host a league game, he said.
“That field, two teams could play on it tomorrow,” he said. “Consider this a viable option.”
Hand-in-Hand created a stir last summer when it proposed converting the old Brunswick hospital into a home for the homeless.
The organization came back to the city with another plan to help the homeless — this time with much less controversy.
Commissioners approved a conditional use permit for the organization to purchase an old Presbyterian church off Altama Avenue and convert it into a managed care facility for homeless single people. Organizers met with the residents in the College Park and Magnolia Park areas to explain the plans and address concerns.
The plan is to start by removing about half the parking lot and a portion of the church building to make room for the construction of 16 tiny homes. Resident would be screened so no sex offenders or people with a history of violent crimes would be eligible to live there. The longterm plans are for as many as 60 tiny homes to be built on the site.
Residents will be allowed to live in their tiny homes indefinitely as long as they follow the rules. No families are eligible to stay at the site.
The development would have case workers on site to provide counseling, nutrition instruction and teaching social skills.
Organizers said they went door to door in surrounding neighborhoods to explain the plans and reassure residents there would be no problems.
The biggest concerns were stormwater runoff affecting nearby residential areas.
Before the unanimous vote, county commissioner Allen Booker, who lives in the Magnolia Park area, expressed his support.
“I know they are sincere, and they want to help,” Booker said of Hand in Hand. “I support this project. It comes down to helping people who need help.”