The Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport’s much-anticipated hotel project is off. The hotel’s construction, which faced numerous delays over the last four years, has been canceled by the developer.
The project was first conceived nearly a decade ago and approved by former Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed’s administration. When Reed announced the project in 2016, he said construction of the hotel, which was to be located near the domestic terminal, would be complete in 2020.
The project was expected to bring jobs to the area’s Black community. East Point, which is just three miles from the airport, has a Black population of 76.52 percent. And College Park, which abuts the airport, has a Black population of 82.37 percent.
The idea for a hotel was initially proposed in 2014. In 2016, the airport awarded a 50-year lease to a joint venture of developer Majestic Realty Co., real estate firm Carter and GPM Investments LLC. According to airport officials, the project was projected to need $600 million in private investment. The hotel was redesigned in 2019 and the opening date was pushed back to 2022. At first the 11-story, 440-room hotel was to be an InterContinental hotel. With the redesign in 2019 came a new deal, this time with Hilton.
Then in 2021, delayed due to COVID, the airport and the developer, Majestic, decided to decrease the scale of the project. They quashed the planned mixed-use development and gas station and they agreed to delay the start of the lease until July 2022. The original vision was that of an “airport city” development with commercial office space, a gas station, and more hotels on 26.5 acres of airport property.
The plan also had the contingent that if the developer failed to get financing, it could terminate the deal. And now Atlanta airport general manager Balram Bheodari has announced the hotel development is off all together after the developer canceled the project due to an inability to raise financing.