It was a historical moment the kind of moment that this community had been anticipating for more than a decade. It was an event that called together the Mayor and the City Council, the Callaway Foundation along with local businesses, supportive patrons and surrounding community members to join as one and witness the very instant that Mansour’s would become Marriott.
Hardhats were stacked high and sledgehammers were laid out as everyone gathered to reminisce on the history behind Mansour’s and discuss their high hopes for the new Marriott. A few members of the audience from the Callaway Foundation and the Downtown LaGrange Development Authority called this a “very bittersweet” moment. They recalled how Mansour’s was always a step above the rest, far ahead of the times, but always the homegrown, community catering business that reached out to its customers on a personal level.
It is this family-oriented, community-founded sort of professionalism that LaGrange wants to upkeep through the new Marriott. Speer Burdette, President of the Callaway Foundation, described this business move as “critical to our downtown square.” Sustaining our community’s bond requires this sort of establishment in the very heart of our city. Mayor Thornton explained how the charter for the City of La-Grange defines the original, historical circle (centered on our modern square) as the true center of the town, making the Marriott’s location all the more special. Both the Mayor and Speer emphasized the way this establishment will bring commerce, industry, and vitality to the core of our community.
Josh Chapman, President of Linco Development Co., was excited to announce why he and his construction team (based out of Carrolton) see a need to invest in LaGrange: “We got a sense that La-Grange is a ‘doing’ community,” he said. Josh applauded LaGrange’s proactive initiative to build up the community through commerce and trade and also announced that they are cleaning up the inside of Mansour’s now ensuring that environmental safety comes first – and have plans to officially break down the building in roughly 3-4 weeks.
Linco Development Co. was given special thanks for their partnership, along with the Callaway Foundation for donating $4 million towards the parking deck that comes with the Marriott. A round of applause was given to the Troup County Board of Education for their support. Downtown La-Grange Development Authority’s Director, Bobby Carmichael, was highly praised as the very catalyst of this historic endeavor, and all employees of the City of LaGrange were thanked for keeping the square beautiful.
But before the ceremony closed, before a single sledgehammer struck, causing the climactic name change from Mansour’s to Marriott, the Mayor called Mansour’s “the most significant retail establishment” LaGrange had seen for decades. So, now, everyone looks to the Marriott to uphold the same title and bring that same community connection and local growth to LaGrange within the next 12-18 months, when the old has become the new.
Peyton Hanners Staff Writer