We find ourselves in the middle of one of the greatest wealth transfer periods of all time. Those with wealth must decide whether they want to make transfers, and if they do, they must decide how much, to whom, when and in what structure?
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Stonebridge Companies, an Englewood-based hotel development and management firm, earlier this month submitted formal site review plans with the city to construct a 171-room Residence Inn hotel on a 1.65-acre parcel at the southwest corner of the intersection.
The hotel would join the Marriott hotel already just southeast of the location. To the northeast at the site of the former Best Western Golden Buff Lodge and Eads Newsstand, developers have already received approval to build a pair of 180-room hotels as well as a 35,000-square-foot building for offices, retail and restaurants.
“I think it will be nice to have those synergies,” Tommy Nigro, vice president of real estate for Stonebridge, said this week. “We think that could work well. It’s not really the reason we selected the site. But we don’t see it as a negative, either.”
The land for the Residence Inn is owned by Gart Properties, which owns the Village Shopping Center that encompasses much of the area, including McGuckin Hardware. Nigro said Stonebridge is under contract to purchase the land for the hotel, but declined to disclose the sale price.
The hotel would become Boulder’s second Residence Inn, an extended-stay, limited-service model. The first, at 3030 Center Green Drive in northeast Boulder, is not affiliated with Stonebridge. Stonebridge operates 25 hotels in Colorado, mostly in the Denver metro area. But the only other that the company owns in Boulder County is the Hampton Inn in Louisville.
Stonebridge still has plenty of hoops to jump through before the new Residence Inn comes to fruition.
City planning staff sent the initial plans for the hotel back to Stonebridge requesting several changes to bring the project more in line with the Boulder Valley Regional Center design guidelines. The Boulder Valley Regional Center is the area bordered roughly by Folsom Street to the west, 30th Street to the east, Pearl Street to the north and Boulder Creek to the south.
The Stonebridge plans call for the hotel to be situated in an H configuration, with four stories in the wing adjacent to Canyon Boulevard and five stories farther back from the street. There would be 115 parking spaces spread out between underground parking beneath the north wing, some surface parking to the west and enclosed ground-level parking under the south wing.
Most notably, city planning staff took issue with an automobile entrance and drop-off area on the east side of the hotel off of 26th Street, as well as the removal of several mature trees at the corner of 26th and Canyon. City staff would like to see the drop-off area moved to the back of the site, away from Canyon and 26th. And staff would like to see plans that keep the existing trees.
While the hotel’s close proximity to Canyon achieves the urban flavor the BVRC guidelines encourage, Boulder planner Elaine McLaughlin said the city would also like to see a more active first floor along Canyon than what the plans entail.
“It just didn’t meet the guidelines,” McLaughlin said.
Nigro said Stonebridge aims to resubmit plans by the end of the year but stopped short of speculating about what type of changes the company would make to the plans. He did say, however, that he doesn’t anticipate material changes in terms of the number of rooms or the general product offering.
“It’s just so early in the process,” Nigro said. “We’re really just getting going.”