Saturday, October 15, 2016

#Catalyst2: Hotel info session didn't have all that much info available.

Two weeks ago, the developers behind the proposed Hyatt Place hotel next to CSD on Griffith street held an information session for locals to see what the project was all about.

The event was well attended, but it's unclear how much real "information" was conveyed.  There was no fact sheet handed out, only a few resolving slides on the projector.  Numerous drawings were haphazardly laid out on tables for people to review.  Sometimes it was difficult to know what each picture was trying to convey.

Some of the slides seemed to be subtly be saying "be careful what you wish for" when it comes to the alternatives if a hotel is not built.  Take  look at the below pictures.

Artistic Rendering of Hotel


The first picture is an artistic rendering of the proposed 68 foot, 6 story hotel.  The second is the currently allowed pair of 3 story mixed use buildings.

Notice anything odd about these two pictures?

The three story buildings are the same height as the six story building.  Both buildings can't  possibly be the same height.  This is true even when acknowledging that from the angle in these pictures one might not be able to see the 6th story rooftop restaurant because it is set back a bit from the fifth story.  There didnt appear to be any pictures from any angle where you could actually see the 6th story.

This of course is misleading in multiple ways.  It is either not accurately depicting how tall the hotel will look from the road, OR it makes the alternative look worse than what it actually would, OR both.

Another omission on the hotel rendering side which was explained at the meeting (if you asked) is that the sidewalk along Griffith Street will be pushed back to make way for on street parking.  Additionally, the existing entrance onto the site closest to town will be closed forcing all drivers to use Gateway Drive.

Finally, the exterior design of the hotel doesn't seem to offer much.  It's reminiscent of the Linden Apartments around the corner which doesn't receive high marks as far as aesthetics goes.  Frankly, the proposed hotel design doesn't look any more intriguing than these other lower budget hotel lines.

It will be interesting what the town Design Review Board has to say if the project progresses that far.  Dave Malushizky with the local office of The Lawrence Group is the architect.

There was one interesting bit of info that came out during the meeting.  The project is now being required to complete a Traffic Impact Analysis.  With traffic and parking being major issues for this site, that will be revealing.

More on the TIA in the next post.  Stay tuned.

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