When Luke Chamblee of Chamblee Hospitality Group moved to Oxford, Miss., nearly three years ago from Jackson, the developer came to town to construct the Graduate Hotel of Oxford just off the square. During that time, Chamblee observed the south side of Oxford was an underserved area of town.

“While there are a lot of rooftops and students, all the commercial options are along Jackson Avenue or around the square. If you want to eat out, you have to leave this part of town.”

During his visits, Chamblee learned Baptist was about to break ground on the new hospital, and when Chamblee learned of the hospital construction, he knew what to do.

“Even before Baptist, we were thinking of a retail development. When we knew Baptist was building, that was the icing on the cake. Having built hotels around hospitals, we know the demand hospitals bring to hotels,” said Chamblee.

In late 2016, Chamblee Hospitality Group broke ground on a $23 million development within sight of Baptist North Mississippi. On the six acres, Chamblee will build a 93-room Homewood Suites by Hilton. “This type of hotel is designed for the guest who is coming to the area for multiple nights and not just a one-night experience. However, Hilton has done a great job of catering to the transient customer as well with this brand so we feel like we’ll be a fantastic option for all guests,” explained Chamblee. Rooms will have kitchenettes, and the property will be designed with a pool, outdoor grills, laundry facilities and a large reception room for meetings. And if guests find they need a long-term room, Chamblee says the hotel will have the ability to negotiate rates with guests.

The hotel is only part of the development, which will also have 32,000 square feet of retail space, including restaurants, shops, and offices. “So people will have options other than our free breakfast, especially if they’re here for a while,” he added.

The property is expected to open in the spring of 2017.

Chamblee said having Baptist on the south side of Oxford is important. “When Baptist invests this type of capital in an area you will see significant growth happen immediately around it for a long time. We look forward to partnering with Baptist for many years to come.”