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Council hears plans for Hampton Inn on Republic Road

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Last edited 1:43 p.m., Aug. 23, 2011

Plans to rezone 4.74 acres to allow for the construction of a five-story Hampton Inn at the 1800 block of East Republic Road drew skeptical questions from council members and the ire of nearby residents with the bill’s first reading at the Springfield City Council meeting Aug. 22. The measure is scheduled to be voted on at the Sept. 5 council session.

The bill asks council to change the conditional overlay district within the general retail district to increase the property’s floor-area ratio to .4 from .233, which would enable developers to construct a wider building with more rooms. Larry Phillips, a representative of the developers of the property owned by the Patterson-Thomas LLC and owner of Pellham Phillips Architects & Engineers, said the hotel could hold 75 rooms under current zoning, but 110 would be possible under the zoning change. 

Phillips said following the meeting that Earl Steinert, the owner of the other three Hampton Inn Hotels & Suites in town, is the developer behind the project.

A cost estimate had yet to be made, Phillips said, but he expected the project to cost around $7 million.

He said construction of the hotel could begin as soon as next spring if the zoning change is approved.

Mike McPherson, the city’s principle planner, said the typical floor-area ratio for a general retail district is .4, which means that for every 10 feet constructed in height, building codes require 15 feet of distance from the property line. He said the previous property owners refused to conduct a traffic study when the property was zoned for general retail, which resulted in the lower-than-normal ratio of .233.

The city clerk’s office had yet to certify a protest position signed by some 170 residents against the proposed development, but several residents expressed their concerns to council at the meeting.

Judy Wilson, a resident of the adjacent Ravenwood neighborhood, said she thought the development would hurt property values, as the proposed hotel would sit on high ground and allow an unimpeded view into residential homes.

McPherson said a six-foot fence would be required with the conditional overlay, and trees would be planted to minimize privacy issues.

“They’re going to have to be Sequoias,” Wilson said.

The proposed development property is just south of the Pat Jones YMCA on East Republic Road and just east of South Charleston Avenue. The Ravenwood neighborhood is just south of the nearly 5-acre lot, which was appraised this year at more than $960,000, according to Greene County assessor’s records.

Phillips said details of the project have yet to be fleshed out and it was still possible that the hotel would only be four stories high, but the measure’s approval would give the project some flexibility.

Just yesterday, the city received a zoning request for another proposed five-story hotel in Springfield. Springfield Business Journal reported that a 107-room hotel is being planned 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.

Look to the Aug. 29 Springfield Business Journal print edition for more on the latest Springfield City Council meeting.[[In-content Ad]]

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