PlanFirst Success Story: Downtown Economic Development – Courtyard-Marriott

DCA’s PlanFirst program recognizes and rewards Georgia communities that clearly demonstrate an established pattern of successfully implementing their Local Comprehensive Plan. Our PlanFirst “Success Story” series highlights these cities and counties by sharing their incredible achievements. You can view all of the communities on our Story Map

In 2013, the City of Thomasville purchased a former Roses Department Store that was located adjacent to the historic downtown. During the “Thomasville: Blueprint 2028 Comprehensive Planning” process, the site was identified as a tremendous opportunity for the city to extend the fabric of the downtown. This led to the comprehensive plan recommending a set of site development guidelines that would preserve the character of the community which included lot configuration, urban design, and architectural details. 

The property was transferred to the Payroll Development Authority (PDA) in 2018 who utilized the comprehensive plan as the primary resource for guiding the development of a proposed hotel on site. The PDA selected Southern Lodging, LLC to design and construct the building. Over the next several months, citizens and city staff worked with the developers to create a concept that aligned with the desires of the community and the site development guidelines. 

The Downtown Courtyard Marriott Hotel opened in the Spring of 2021 as the premier hotel in Thomasville. This addition to the downtown expands the city’s walkable center, enhances the surrounding area, and creates a model for public engagement and comprehensive plan implementation.