On May 4 of last year, Charlottesville was rocked by the images and news that the long-standing Excel Inn & Suites was ablaze. The Emmet Street landmark was deemed unsalvageable, and the owners, Vipul and Manisha Patel, closed the hotel immediately and indefinitely following the devastating fire.

Now the Patel family has a new proposal, which they brought to the City Planning Commission March 14. They are seeking a special permit to build a seven-story, 72-room, 75,000-square-foot replacement: “a boutique hotel aptly named the Gallery Court Hotel,” says Vipul Patel.