NORFOLK, Va. (WVEC) — A hotel in downtown Norfolk is closer to getting a big makeover.
City Council approved a developer's plan to renovate the Waterside Marriott on Main Street.
It's a deal that would involve the city investing millions of dollars, but not everyone's happy with the deal.
According to city documents, Richmond-based developer Lingerfelt Commonwealth plans to buy and invest in the more than two-decade old hotel.
Renovated rooms, dining and public spaces are on the list of improvements, according to paperwork. It’s slated to cost approximately $15 million.
Also in the agreement? The city has to put up at least $4 million dollars to improve the city-owned conference center, which is a part of the hotel.
At Tuesday’s meeting, some citizens voiced concern after where the city is deciding to put its money.
Before the vote was over, Councilman Paul Riddick raised question, but digressed.
Soon after, Terry Hurst got up to speak.
"The city set the bar very high with the Main which was heavily subsidized. Now it needs to decide how far it's going to go helping every one else catch up,“ Hurst said. "It seems like the deals that pay for themselves always seem to lead to more deals and not more investment in other city services for the schools."
13News Now reached out to city council members and the Mayor Wednesday, but we got no responses.
Admiral Jack Kavanaugh, President of the Freemason Civic League, defended the City Council’s decision to invest in downtown establishments.
"If we're all so worried about giving money to hotels or businesses coming in, we wouldn't have an economic development,” said Kavanaugh. "In the long term, it's going to generate taxes that will continue to go to the school. The [council] gives the four million now and you don't have a good conference center, you don't get conferences to come in here and have money in the future."
The deal also includes securing a 20-year extension for the Marriott franchise, documents said.