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Published: September 16, 2020


THE POLK MOTEL PROJECT IN COLUMBIA HAS REMAINED STAGNANT OVER THE PASTE SEVERAL MONTHS DUE TO LACK OF PROGRESS AND DUE TO INDICTMENTS OF WIRE FRAUD CHARGES ON THE DEVELOPER IN MISSISSIPPI. THE 14 ACRE PROPERTY ON NASHVILLE HIGHWAY WAS PURCHASED IN JANUARY 2019 BY DAVID HUNT OF JACKSON, FOR 5 MILLION DOLLARS AND THE SITE WAS TO BE HOME TO A 110 ROOM COURTYARD BY MARRIOTT WITH A 20,000-SQUARE-FOOT RETAIL CENTER AND FOUR RESTAURANTS. ACCORDING TO THE DAILY HERALD, HUNT HAD BEEN NEGOTIATING TO BRING PUBLIX AND CHAIN RESTAURANTS INTO THE PROJECT AND ADVISED THE DELAY IN CONSTRUCTION WAS DUE TO WANTING TO DESIGN THE HOTEL AROUND THE SUPERMARKET. THE COVID 19 PANDEMIC ALSO PLAYED A ROLE. THE CITY HAS GIVEN HUNT UNTIL THE END OF THIS YEAR TO FINISH THE HOTEL OR POSSIBLY LOSE HIS TAX INCREMENT FINANCING. COLUMBIA'S INDUSTRIAL DEVELOPMENT BOARD WILL MAKE THAT DETERMINATION OR TO ALLOW HUNT MORE TIME. A FACTOR THAT COULD COME INTO PLAY IS THE ACCUSATIONS AGAINST HUNT, WHO HAS BEEN INDICTED ON ONE COUNT OF COUNT OF CONSPIRACY TO COMMIT WIRE FRAUD AND SEVEN COUNTS OF WIRE FRAUD. HE WAS ARRAIGNED IN FEDERAL COURT ON THURSDAY AND HIS TRIAL IS SET FOR NOVEMBER 2ND.IF CONVICTED, HUNT COULD FACE UP TO 20 YEARS IN PRISON FOR EACH COUNT OF CONSPIRACY AND WIRE FRAUD AND UP TO $250,000 IN FINES FOR EACH COUNT.