Purchase plans unlikely for Fairhope clock

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FAIRHOPE – While some residents have approached city officials about buying the site of the Fairhope City Clock, plans for a boutique hotel on the site are moving forward.

City Council President Jack Burrell said several residents have asked if private funds could be raised to buy the property at Fairhope Avenue and Section Street where the hotel is planned. After delaying approval in May, the council voted Sept. 9 to allow the three-story boutique hotel to be built.

The hotel will be near the city clock. Burrell said that while residents have proposed buying the site to keep construction from getting too close to the landmark, the price would be too high.

He said the lot would cost at least $500,000.

The site is owned by developer Matt Bowers.

Bowers moved the main entrance to the hotel from a location near the clock on Section Street to Fairhope Avenue. Plans were also changed to keep the sidewalks at eight feet wide instead of the original proposal to narrow walkways to seven feet in front of the hotel.

At the meeting, resident Sevan Wilson asked before the vote if the council could delay action and allow citizens to try to raise money to buy the site. β€œIt’s difficult to put a value on this historic corner at the historic center of Fairhope,” she said.