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HAMPTON, VA-After two-and-a-half years of planning, developers have finally broken ground on the $106 million Hampton Roads Convention Center, as well as the corresponding $40 million Embassy Suites Hotel. The city is behind the development of the 345,000-sf convention center, which is part of a grander Hampton economic development plan called the Crossroads Project, and Springfield, MO-based John Q. Hammons Hotels Inc. is the developer behind the 300-suite hotel.

Located on 90 acres near the Hampton Coliseum at the spot where I-64 and I664 meet, both the convention center and the hotel will sit just a stone’s throw away from the new entertainment and retail development Power Plant of Hampton Roads. Upon completion, the 345,000-sf convention center will feature 245,000 sf of retail and restaurant space and about 100,000 sf of exhibit space, which will include 13,000 sf of conference center space and a 28,000-sf ballroom. Newport News, VA-headquartered WM Jordan Co. is the contractor for the Hellmuth, Obata & Kassabaum-designed structure.

The Embassy Suites hotel will sport 300 luxury rooms over 10 floors and will be linked to the convention center by a covered walkway. The property will mark developer Hammons Hotels’ entrée into the Virginia market. “Hampton’s commitment to developing a first-class convention center in close proximity to an exciting new entertainment and retail development makes it a natural fit for a high-end convention hotel,” says company founder and CEO John Q. Hammons. “This project reinforces my commitment to developing fine hotel properties in strategic growth markets.” Opening day for both projects is scheduled to occur around January 2005.

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