Construction could start within a month on a new hotel in downtown Dalton, according to businessman Kasey Carpenter.
Carpenter, who owns The Oakwood Cafe and Cherokee Brewing + Pizza Co. in downtown and the Walnut Hill Farm wedding venue in the northern end of Whitfield County, plans the hotel — to be called The Carpentry — where a former bank building sits unoccupied at the corner of the 200 block of West Cuyler Street opposite of both of Carpenter’s restaurants.
The Dalton City Council on Monday voted 3-0 to approve an easement onto city right-of-way on Cuyler Street for the project. Mayor Dennis Mock typically votes only in the event of a tie, and council member Denise Wood was absent.
City officials say a small portion of the current structure has been on the city right-of-way for some 50 years. The easement approved Monday maintains the current sidewalk width and does not allow further encroachment into the right-of-way
"Before we start, we are just checking to make sure that everything is in order," Carpenter said.
Carpenter said he hopes to have the hotel open by the end of the year but isn't certain about that.
"You never know how construction will go," he said.
Carpenter said the hotel, expected to have 31 rooms, will be a "boutique" hotel.
"It will be smaller, more intimate," he said. "It will be beautifully designed. The rooms will have very nice furnishings."
There are currently no hotels in downtown Dalton, and Carpenter said his hotel will attract visitors who want to be within walking distance of downtown businesses, restaurants and events.
Council members said they believe the hotel will provide a boost to downtown Dalton.
"This (hotel) has been greeted by the council with excitement," said council member Annalee Harlan. "It's going to bring new life to downtown, and I believe it will be just one of many new opportunities for downtown."
Council member Gary Crews said the hotel will help bring people downtown.
"This is going to be a breath of fresh air. I think it will have a positive impact on all the other businesses downtown," he said.