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CONCORD, NC-The city and Cabarrus County have a tentative deal with John Q. Hammons Hotels Inc. for a 10-story, 300-room hotel and 80,000-sf convention center. The $40-million project is 20 miles northeast of Downtown Charlotte. Construction is expected to begin next summer on 15 acres off Speedway Boulevard near Lowe’s Motor Speedway, with a completion date set for October 2002.

According to Hammons, the prospect of a completed Interstate 485 and development of Concord Regional Airport influenced his decision to build in Concord. The facility will compete with hotels in a 20-mile radius.

The hotel and convention center, which will overlook the city’s golf course, will be partially financed by an increased hotel tax. Under the proposed agreement, Hammons will lease the site from Concord while owning and operating the facility. The county will lease land for the convention center from the city and pay for its construction. Concord is negotiating for land to add to the site’s 15 acres, but no property owner has been identified.

Previously, the city had an agreement for a Marriott Conference Center to be built on the same site, but the deal fell apart last year. The owner of Lowe’s Motor Speedway, First Speedway Motorsports Inc., withdrew as an investor. South Carolina developer Burroughs & Chapin Inc. was briefly interested, but it also pulled out.

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