A hotel is in the works for a property once planned to be a Lidl grocery store on the corner of Richmond and Stony Point roads.
The Holiday Inn Express & Suites received conditional approval Monday from the Albemarle County Architectural Review Board. The project has been through several rounds of ARB work sessions already.
“I appreciate all you’ve done. You actually did address our previous comments here, and you’ve done a very good job of doing it,” Chairman Stan Binsted said.
The German grocery store chain allowed its Pantops site plan to lapse last spring, and the property now is being developed into several projects, including a Wawa gas station and a self-service storage facility.
Amir Patel, whose Henrico County-based Tankk Group will develop and manage the Holiday Inn, said that having a national brand near the property will be good for business.
“You see residual business because people know that they stayed at this hotel, there’s a Wawa right there and there’s a Giant across the street,” Patel said.
Patel said that Pantops was an attractive location itself, with its proximity to Sentara Martha Jefferson Hospital, zoning that allows hotels by-right and easy access to Interstate 64 and the University of Virginia.
The hotel would provide complimentary breakfast but would not have a banquet hall, room service or a full-service restaurant or bar. Patel said that the price range for similar hotels is $125 to $145 per night.
The ARB voted, 3-0, to approve a certificate of appropriateness for the hotel, as long as the project team modifies the design slightly and returns to the ARB in two weeks for a final work session. ARB members Frank Stoner and Bruce Wardell were absent.
One of the ARB’s points of concern was the shade of the brick for the hotel base. The architecture firm, Design Enclave, chose a brick similar to the mottled gray ones at the student apartment building Lark on Main, but the brick sample looked darker than the architectural drawing.
“The owners were inclined to go more contemporary for the look of the building … but obviously, we wanted to stay with brick,” said Nitin Kulkarni, of Design Enclave. “I took the picture of that and gave it to my rendering guy to apply it on the CAD [drawing] and that’s the best he can come up with.”
The ARB asked the team to return with a picture of the lighter brick on another building. The board’s other suggestions for incorporating the hotel into the corridor included darker fencing, simplifying the design of the front of the building and adding windows to the building’s western side.
The team, which also includes local civil engineer Justin Shimp, is scheduled to return to the ARB on March 18.