Developers of a hotel in Hermiston received the OK for a federally backed loan of almost $9.5 million.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture Rural Development on Saturday announced it is guaranteeing the loan to A-1 Hermiston for the construction of a new 85-room Fairfield Inn & Suites by Marriott. Old West Federal Credit Union is providing the 29-year loan of $9,472,500 at 5.2 percent interest.

The total project is just shy of $11.4 million, according to the USDA. A-1 Hermiston, a subsidiary of the A-1 Hospitality Group, has to come up with $1.9 million for its contribution.

Taran Patel with A-1 Hospitality said the company was pleased to receive the USDA approval.

“We are now working on final Marriott design and sourcing our gap funding,” Patel continued. “There’s no current definitive timeline set, but we will be moving as quick as possible. A-1 Hospitality is excited to expand our footprint into the growing Hermiston market.”

The Hermiston Planning Department in December gave conditional approval for the hotel to occupy a spot near the Denny’s between Highway 395 on one end and East Airport Road on the other. That places the hotel within a moment’s drive of the Eastern Oregon Event and Trade Center.

The site plans calls for a four-story structure more than 200 feet long and about 150 feet wide from the edge of the front awning to the back patio wall. According to the approval letter, the project must improve the frontage road along the edge of the property, the hotel cannot exceed 50 feet in height, and the Hermiston Irrigation District gets to approve the site plan before the city issues building permits.

City planner Clint Spencer said the land use zone at the site allows hotels outright, so there was no need for a review from the planning commission.

The hotel boosts the number of accommodations for the region’s burgeoning tourism, and according to the USDA, the project will create 21 full-time jobs.

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