Roanoke City leaders took another big step toward bringing a new hotel to downtown by signing off on a development deal last week.
Roanoke agreed to essentially reimburse the developers of the planned Hampton Inn up to $350,000 for utility improvements.
The development team, South Commonwealth Partners LLC, plans to build the inn on top of the Market Garage.
The building will go from six stories tall to nine floors in height.
City leaders hope work will start on the hotel this summer, with the aim to complete the addition by late 2014.
When developers first pitched the idea to the city, they told them they didn't want to include a restaurant in the plans for the 123-room inn.
Developers want guests to eat downtown.
"We are excited about it," Christopher Mayo, co-owner of Thelma's Chicken & Waffles, said.
Thelma's sits right across the street.