Sunday, October 20, 2013

The hotel to replace Kroger selected

Last year, I asked "A hotel to replace Kroger?"  The answer is yes.

Royal Oak Patch: Planning Commission OKs Hotel Complex
By a 7-2 vote, the Royal Oak Planning Commission approved a special land use and final special redevelopment site plan for an 8-story hotel complex at the site of the former Fresard auto dealership at 400 N. Main St. at its meeting Tuesday.

The plan will now move to the Royal Oak City Commission for its approval of a development agreement.

The site and landscaping plan for an 8-story hotel, an 8-story apartment building, a pair of office buildings and a 4-level off-street parking deck has essentially not changed very much since it last appeared before the planning commission in December, said Royal Oak City Planner Doug Hedges.
That was last June.  At that time, there was one precondition to getting the project approved.
In his comments, Hedges strongly went over the Planning Department’s recommendation that a hotel be part of any first phase of the project.

“I can not emphasize enough how adamant the director of planning (Tim Thwing) is that this contingency be included,” Hedges said, adding, “It is our strong opinion, and it’s been stated in the public hearing, that the whole project as been more or less predicated on the hotel. And, it is our opinion that that needs to be done first before anything else. It may be harsh but our opinion is no hotel, no project.”

Hedges remarks drew approval from the audience. The closest resident to the proposed development, Nikki Martinez on Pingree, acknowledged she was excited about the hotel and would not be a fan of the development without it.

To date, the petitioner has not named a hotelier and no contingency was added about naming one.
That hurdle has now been cleared.

Royal Oak Patch: Royal Oak Hotel Development Moves Forward with Hyatt Place
After months of silence, an announcement is made regarding a proposed 8-story hotel complex at 400 N. Main St., the site of the former Fresard auto dealership.
"The 400 N. Main project is still moving forward," said [Architect Jason] Krieger, who is also a DDA director. "I know it's been quiet, but they had to do their due diligence and their feasibility study. The (hotel) picked is going to be the Hyatt Place."
"I will say I have stayed in Hyatt Places many times. They are very nice hotels," said Jay Dunstan, DDA chairperson. "It going to be a great addition to downtown."
I'm looking forward to the the completed hotel.  I've even looking forward to the construction.  It's more entertaining to walk past a construction site than a vacant lot as I head downtown.  As for driving, I have alternate routes to avoid the congestion and I'll be happy to put up with the traffic to see this all done.

Also, there is enough tourism to keep the hotel afloat, what with the Dream Cruise, the Detroit Auto Show, and the Detroit Zoo, to say nothing of downtown Royal Oak as an entertainment destination for people coming in during business trips and relatives coming in to visit residents during the rest of the year.  When all that stops, we'll have bigger problems to worry about then whether the town can support a hotel.

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