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COLUMBUS, Miss. — Castle Properties of Columbus, MS and Peachtree Hotel Group of Atlanta, GA, today announced the completion of a New Market Tax Credit (NMTC) based investment to fund a Courtyard by Marriot hotel in Columbus, Mississippi. This is the second business class hotel that Castle and Peachtree has opened in the Columbus market in rural northeast Mississippi and it will be adjacent to the Fairfield Inn, which Castle and Peachtree opened in 2011.

This particular development came in direct response to businesses locating and operating in the Columbus area and needing higher-end hotel amenities. Joe Max Higgins, CEO of the Columbus LINK, stated, “Mark Castleberry is a big reason our Community is succeeding in retail and hotel development. The Courtyard will better allow us to better serve our business and recreational traveler”.” The Columbus LINK has had unparalleled success in attracting and retaining major manufacturers like Severstal, Weyerhaeuser, ABB/Baldor, PACCAR American Eurocopter and most recently KIOR. This full-service Courtyard will feature 110 room rooms and over 3,000 square feet of conference space. It will feature the largest available hotel-based conference/meeting space in the area. Construction on the project will begin in November with the hotel slated to be open in mid-2013.

MuniStrategies in conjunction with Bancorp South, who served as the lead senior lender, spearheaded the financing for this project. MuniStrategies is a Mississippi-based New Markets allocatee that provides federal and state tax credit incentives to help finance this project. This investment utilized $8.3M in MuniStrategies federal NMTC allocation along with Mississippi NMTC incentives provided through the Mississippi Development Authority. The City of Columbus and Lowndes County also supported this project through a TIF agreement.

“Adequate hotel capacity to serve our business community has definitely been a missing piece. Investments like this one enable other businesses to flourish in our area.” says Terry Brown (R-Columbus), Senator Pro-Tempore for the Mississippi Senate.

United States Congressman Alan Nunnelee representing Mississippi’s First District stated, “This project is a good example of what the federal government should be doing, creating an environment where private enterprise has the confidence and ability to thrive and create jobs.  This new investment is an exciting and welcome addition to the Columbus community and furthers the positive image of doing business in North Mississippi to companies worldwide.”

There will be a ceremonial groundbreaking for the project on November 5th at 3:00 p.m. at the site of the new project. It will be located at 1995 6th Street North in Columbus. Local media is invited to attend.

Peachtree Hotel Group invests, operates and develops premium-branded select service and extended-stay hotels under the Marriott, Starwood, Hilton, Hyatt, and InterContinental Hotels Groups flags. Since its inception, Peachtree has acquired or developed more than $250 Million of hotel properties and first mortgage notes. Peachtree is currently invested in 3,191 hotel guest rooms in 35 hotel assets throughout the United States and has over 475 employees.

Castle Properties is a commercial property development and management company. Castle Properties presently owns retail and office properties in seven Mississippi cities in addition to its partnership with Peachtree Hotel Group in hotel properties. Castle Properties made its first acquisition in 1991 and has since owned and managed over 1 million sf of commercial space in addition to limited residential development.

About MuniStrategies

Formed in 2006, MuniStrategies is a Mississippi based Certified Development Entity. In 2011, MuniStrategies was awarded a $28,000,000 allocation of New Markets Tax Credits by the CDFI Fund. In conjunction with state NMTC incentives, MuniStrategies has been a leader in New Markets Tax Credits finance in Mississippi and a champion for the program both locally and nationally. More information can be found at http://www.MuniStrategies.com

About the CDFI Fund

Since its creation in 1994, the CDFI Fund has awarded almost $1.3 billion to CDFIs, community development organizations and financial institutions through the CDFI Program, the Bank Enterprise Award Program, Capital Magnet Fund, the Financial Education and Counseling Pilot Program, and the Native Initiatives. In addition, the CDFI Fund has allocated $29.5 billion in tax credit authority to CDEs through the NMTC Program.

For more information about the CDFI Fund or the NMTC Program, please visit: www.cdfifund.gov.

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