CARY — The Mayton Inn will have a 3,000-square-foot terrace that will overlook a future downtown Cary park.
This time next year, you might find Colin Crossman there. He’ll be the one holding a gin and tonic made at the hotel’s upscale cocktail bar that uses his own tonic recipe.
The four-story, 55,000-square-foot hotel will have 45 rooms and a 100-seat restaurant.
The Cary Town Council on Thursday awarded a $1.4 million loan to Crossman and his wife, who plan to build a $9.5 million boutique hotel at a town-owned site on the corner of East Park and South Academy streets.
The loan is from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. Cary applied for the money on behalf of the Crossmans, and the department awarded the loan in late June on the condition that the project creates 40 jobs targeted toward people from low- to moderate-income families.
The project has been in the works for more than two years, Crossman said. The council’s blessing of the loan agreement – considered a formality – was the last major hurdle on the path to construction.
But it didn’t come until after critics of the project aired their grievances in a public hearing.
Three members of CaryWatch, a grassroots group that advocates for conservative government, said the town should have granted the property through a bidding process and argued that the project is high risk.
The group has questioned whether the high-end hotel will attract visitors to downtown Cary.
“We believe that elected officials such as yourselves are representatives of the residents and taxpayers of Cary and not agents of the Crossmans,” Peter Emens told the council Thursday. “In many respects, staff and Town Council have crossed that line.”
Mayor Harold Weinbrecht said Cary did not discourage public involvement with the project.
“Hours upon hours upon hours of staff time has been spent answering questions – equating, ironically, to thousands of dollars of staff time,” Weinbrecht said. “I think we’ve been about as open and honest as we can be.”
Crossman also spoke at the public hearing, and he said The Mayton Inn will be more than just another hotel. He plans on making it a four-diamond hotel like his other business, The King’s Daughters Inn, in Durham.
The hotel plans to make most of its money from weddings, but Crossman also expects to host business travelers and people visiting Cary’s retirement communities on weekdays.
It will be one of the few hotels that’s not on the edge of town, he said.
“We’ve already been getting (wedding) inquiries left and right that we can’t satisfy yet,” Crossman said. “We won’t be accepting firm contracts until at least halfway through the project.”
Crossman expects construction to start in two to three weeks, and finish up sometime next summer.
Specht: 919-460-2608; Twitter: @AndySpecht