In September 2013, the Garner Town Council approved a rezoning request for a 12-acre tract of land at the corner of Jones Sausage Road and U.S. 70, paving the way for the development of a seven-story, 180-room hotel.
The Drury Inn would be the tallest building in Garner.
Because many Cabela’s shoppers spend mutiple days at the outdoors mega store, it could potentially be a resting place for those shoppers.
But now, three years later, that tract of land still sits vacant, while other businesses, including Cabela’s, have sprawled around it. And those business are still coming.
Last month, Richard Barta, president of Core Properties, who developed White Oak, announced that Famous Toastery and Chipotle would soon be coming to the area. Zaxby’s is currently under construction and Sheetz recently opened.
The Town Council Tuesday night agreed to send the developer a letter encouraging the company to start construction on the hotel.
The letter says with the addition of companies and property purchases like the Meadowbrook Golf Course purchase, Overland Contracting headquarters, and other business, there is a demand for overnight stays in Garner, particularly “a quality hotel that caters to the business traveler.”
The town collected data from companies that stay in overnight rooms in Garner.
“Fifteen out of the 31 companies visited reported generating on average nearly 3,500 room nights per year collectively,” the letter states.
“Although this is a small sample size of companies that are currently operating in Garner, the demand for hotel stays will only continue to grow as companies expand and as new employers are recruited to the area.”
The letter also says town staff is ready to assist with issues ranging from intial site plan submissions to building inspections and will help streamline the development service process to get the hotel operating as soon as possible.
“We’re just trying to appeal to them that we think now is a good time to build that hotel with all the other development we got there now and some of the things we’ve got coming,” Town Manager Rodney Dickerson said. “But they got to make sure it fits their business plan, and that it’s going to be profitable.”
Dickerson said he was unsure of why there was a delay with Drury Inn. He said the company just finished building a hotel in Alamance County, so he hoped that Garner would come soon.
“That corner looks kind of lonely all by itself,” he said.
Patrick Tureck, director of development for Drury Development, declined to comment.