City’s Griffin says hotel “taking a little longer than expected” — but what was expected and when?

Richard Griffin

Having lost a 2014 state grant of $350,000 because the 3-year deadline for use passed mid-year the City’s hotel project manager Richard Griffin says “The process is taking a little longer than expected.” (Frederick News-Post 2017.08.26)

So how much longer?

We’ve gone back through an archive of reports, presentations, MOUs and City publications:

In December 2011 the Frederick News-Post reported Mayor McClement’s commitment to the downtown hotel as a priority, mentioning a planned grand opening in December 2014.

July 2012 Mayor McClement in his State of the City address said construction would be under way by 2014, and the hotel would open in 2015. (FNP)

September 2014 the Downtown Hotel Advisory Committee said design and permitting would begin early 2015, construction would be under way in 2016 and the hotel would open in 2017. (Powerpoint)

November 2015 City DED issues first project One-pager saying design and permitting would begin in 2016, construction would start in early 2017 for a grand opening in January 2019. (single sheet, 2 pages)

December 2015 MOU between City and Plamondon has a schedule (Appendix F) with design and permitting going through 2015 and 2016 for a financial close Dec 15, 2016, construction beginning by June 2017 for the grand opening January 2019.

May 2016 new version of the City DED’s One-pager says construction will begin some time in 2017 for a grand opening some time in 2019.

October 2016 City approved a draft 5-party MOU hoping to rope in the Maryland Stadium Authority and the state’s MEDCO (never happened) but the schedule in that document said design and permitting would start in November 2016, financial close in December 2017, construction would take 20 months for the grand opening in September 2019.

Last official word out of the City is on a July 2017 One-pager on the hotel project which puts construction starting mid-2018 for a grand opening in the spring of 2020.

In summary this project started off in 2011 and was described as about 3 years from completion.

Nothing has really changed in six years now.

The hotel opening date gets advanced more or less with the date.

In 2012 the opening was going to be 2015, in 2013 2016, in 2014 2017, in late 2015 early 2019, in 2016 2019, in 2017 2020.

Always three years from opening

It has stayed about three years away from completion for six years now.

It is still about 3 years from completion.

The forecast of the hotel opening just rolls forward. As each year rolls by the City officials just add a year to the forecast opening.

Richard Griffin’s remark that the City hotel project has taken “a little longer than expected” deserves an award for spectacular understatement.

The one thing this project manager has managed well has been the political spin around the project. He has made a dynamic artwork of movable goal posts.

2017.08.28 P Sam

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