The city today received zoning requests to make way for a five-story, 107-room hotel by an undisclosed third-party developer across from St. John's Hospital.

The land at the southwest corner of East Cherokee Street and South National Avenue is owned by One Hundred Two Glenstone Inc., which is operated by Springfield-based real estate company C. Arch Bay. Terry Reynolds of C. Arch Bay said the land would be leased to the hotel developers.
Derek Lee, a civil engineer with Lee Engineering & Associates LLC, said he has been hired by C. Arch Bay to complete site work for a proposed hotel and represent the company through the rezoning process.

“The existing properties are (general retail), medium density-residential and three single-family residential houses. Our proposal is to rezone it all to GR. Another thing we are asking for is a conditional use permit, which will allow a hotel to go in there,” Lee said.

Lee organized a neighborhood meeting at the Library Center Aug. 18, and he has been responding to questions raised by those in attendance ever since.

“I got pages and pages of feedback. We’re going to turn in the official documentation in about two weeks,” Lee said, adding that the neighbors' lists of concerns was long, but all questions and comments are being responded to. “They talked about noise. They talked about lights. They talked about additional traffic. They were concerned about sanitary sewer. They were concerned about stormwater. They were concerned about pedestrian traffic between the proposed hotel and St. John’s.”

He said most concerns voiced at the meeting were from members of the adjacent Seminole/Holland Neighborhood Association.

Lee said a hotel chain has not yet been selected, but the Hilton Garden Inn is the stand-in model for the size and scope of the facility that will be designed by Rita Baron of Baron Design Associates. Through RT Development LLC, Baron partnered with Reynolds to bring to town Einstein Bros. Bagels, which opened its first site just north of the hotel’s proposed location.

Lee said he expects the rezoning measure will go before City Council and receive a first reading on Oct. 17. First, however, the planning and zoning commission needs to hold a hearing and determine whether it would recommend council approval.

“It’s all hinging on the zoning,” Reynolds said.  

That meeting has yet to be scheduled, according to Mike McPherson, the city’s principle planner. He said the application had yet to be processed, but he said the hearing should be scheduled within two days.

For more on this story, look to the Aug. 29 issue of the Springfield Business Journal.