June 18, 2013
Plans for a proposed seven-story hotel near downtown Charlottesville are moving forward.
On Tuesday, the city's board of architectural review approved the next step in a plan to bring a Residence Inn by Marriott to the corner of West Main Street and Ridge McIntire Road.
City Clay has already made plans to move to a new space, and Random Row Books, which is also in the proposed hotel's path, will shut down at the end of this month.
Grand Market, which is nearby, will stay put. However, employees are expressing concerns about losing their neighbors.
"I guess it would bring better revenue to Charlottesville, but then again it's going to be crowded since there's no parking and stuff," said employee Safiullah Panahi. "I just personally think the city should support more of the local businesses rather than bigger corporate chains and stuff."
That's a trend Charlottesville resident Daniel Kromin says he has picked up on in the last few years.
"When I moved to Charlottesville, one of the first things I noticed was that it lacked too much corporate things, but that was a good thing, you know?" said Kromin. "[Building the hotel] would kind of start symbolizing this slow but steady growth in corporate places rising up."
There were some concerns brought up by board members and residents during a public comment period. People had questions about how brightly lit the parking lot should be, what kind of fencing material to use and the hotel's signage.
After public comment, the board voting unanimously to approve the details of the proposed hotel, saying the satisfy the board's criteria and are compatible with other properties in the area.
The next step in the project will be obtaining a building permit. Those planning the project are expecting to get that in mid-August in order to begin construction in the fall.