By Carlie Kollath | NEMS Daily Journal
TUPELO – Crews have started tearing down the Howard Johnson in Tupelo.
The demolition is clearing space for two new hotels, which will be built on the site near the intersection of North Gloster Street and McCullough Boulevard.
Century Construction crews have been tearing down interior walls. Tuesday, they began external demolition. Hotel owner Bruce Patel said they put a little bulldozer on the second floors and push everything out.
The 124-room hotel is scheduled to be gone by Dec. 30, Patel said. Crews are removing the parking lot as well. Century Construction will recycle as much of the material as possible, he said.
The hotel will be replaced by a Candlewood Suites and a Holiday Inn. Patel said they are both slated to open in the first quarter of 2013.
The four-story Candlewood will have 179 rooms. The five-story Holiday Inn will have 121 rooms. Plus, Patel said, it will have a bar and a restaurant.
When the hotels open, the Candlewood will have 15 employees and the Holiday Inn will have 65. Patel’s company, Fusion Hospitality, won’t start taking applications until February 2013.
In addition to the Howard Johnson, Patel in Tupelo owns the Comfort Suites, Best Western Plus, the Microtel and both Tutti Frutti locations. Plus, his company owns Holiday Inn Express locations in Fulton, West Point and Olive Branch.