The Westin Hotel planned for Foxhall Resort is expected to start construction by early next year, but could begin as early as December, according to Chris Pumphrey, executive director of the Development Authority of Douglas County.

The hotel and conference center at Foxhall Resort and Sporting Club was green-lighted by the Douglas County Board of Commissioners in 2016, but spent time late last year restructuring its financial plan for the project, after initial plans bogged down.

In April 2016 the BOC approved an agreement for the project at the property on Capps Ferry Road that was to include a 200-room Westin Hotel, 250 villas, a conference center, spa and other amenities in south Douglas County. Westin is one of the 30 brands which are part of Marriott International.

Pumphrey, contacted recently, said the total number of rooms involved is the same but are swapped now with the hotel, which is up to 250 rooms and villas reduced to 200.

Construction of the hotel is expected to take about 20 months with completion around mid-2020, he said. Total cost is at $155 million.

“According to the EDA website, increased property taxes generated with the development of the hotel and sales taxes from the hotel should result in “... a net gain of $96 million to Douglas County over the course of the Tax Incentive Plan...”

When details of the new deal were announced in March it was reiterated that the financing structure poses no risk to the county.

In 2016, four commissioners agreed to an IGA for the authority to issue $40 million in revenue bonds for the project, in what has been described as a public-private partnership.

The joint venture co-investor Allen Morris of the Allen Morris Company, one of the largest diversified real estate firms in the Southeast, with Merrill Trust is the main difference to the financial details.

Early phases of the project have been completed and Phase Three was expected to begin this summer and include building a leadership center, a clubhouse — serving as an anchor of the villas that will feature a large kitchen and event space.

Work on infrastructure to the area in the last year has been mostly in terms of identifying the routes and working with property owners to obtain easements, Pumphrey said. Start of that construction would coincide with the hotel’s construction.

"In planning for water and sewerage, there are conservation standards to take into account as it flows along the Dog River basin," Pumphrey told commissioners in March.

Harrison Merrill Jr., chairman and CEO of Foxhall, stated during the March update on the project to Douglas commissioners, that interest in the area has "put us on the map for development success."

Merrill said Foxhall is transitioning from a wedding event venue to a resort and is drawing more events and retreats to corporations such as Cancer Treatment Centers of America.

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