Birmingham hotel plans being pushed forward

By Melanie Posey

BIRMINGHAM, AL (WBRC) - A 4-star hotel is one step closer to being built in downtown Birmingham, but the developer says it is important that process move quickly.  

Robert Schwartz is an Atlanta developer who's willing to put $13-million towards building the Westin hotel.  He says now is the time for the city to move, while contractor's bids are low and the federal government is offering "Build America" bonds.   Schwartz says considering those factors, he could guarantee the hotel is ready for business by March 2012 for a cost of $50-million.  

Now the city's legal and financial advisors will meet with the BJCC board's legal and financial team to determine how best to fund the project.  

"There is a timeline on this," says BJCC Board President, Dr. Clyde Echols.  "And I hate for anything to be seen as foot dragging.  Hopefully it's not.  I'd like to get it on fast forward.  It's needed."

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