New Hotel planned for former cinema site
by Sean Tubbs | Wednesday, January 16, 2013 at 9:30 p.m.
A Staunton-based company has submitted plans to Charlottesville for a hotel on the site of the former Regal 4 cinema.
City officials say plans developed for Heritage Hospitality Management do not conflict with the Virginia Department of Transportation’s plans for a road extension that will run parallel to U.S. 29.
“It appears the building and proposed improvements will not directly conflict with Hillsdale Drive Extended,” said Jeanette Janiczek, the city’s urban construction initiative manager, in written comments to the developer.
“However, the process of construction of Hillsdale may conflict with the hotel complex’s improvements and operations,” Janiczek added.
If the project moves forward, a four-story Homewood Suites hotel with 149 rooms would be built on the theater’s former parking lot. The building would front India Road with parking situated between the hotel and the adjacent Kmart.
The site plan shows that the area for the road will be used temporarily during construction, but would contain no structures when the project is complete.
Heritage Hospitality Management purchased the 6.5-acre site from Regal for $3.25 million, below the $4 million assessment for the property and the building. The structure has been vacant since November when the new Regal 14 opened at the Stonefield shopping center.
City staff has asked the developer to consider replacing the sidewalk on India Road because it is not up to the city’s current standards. They also would like the developer to build a sidewalk to allow guests to walk to the Whole Foods and Kmart.
Janiczek has also recommended that construction of Hillsdale and the hotel take place concurrently. She also asked that the applicant clearly depict the road on the next version of its site plan.
In July 2012, the Commonwealth Transportation Board allocated $13.8 million in funding to construct the Hillsdale Drive extension. The board vote anticipated that landowners along the route would donate land for the road because it will facilitate redevelopment of the existing shopping center.
The hotel would be a by-right development, which will only require the city to approve the site plan. City planning staff met with developers Wednesday at a site plan review conference.
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