Planned Hyatt hotel on Main Street
Stroud Watson raises objections
Developer Hiren Desai is seated at right
Builder Alex Grace
A city board on Thursday afternoon approved a Hyatt hotel for 105 East Main St. despite some neighborhood concerns about its height.
The motion that was approved by the Form Based Code Committee was for a maximum height of 65 feet, including a rooftop bar with a setback of some 20 feet from the edge of the building.
Developer Hiren Desai is planning the hotel at a current vacant lot.
The builder, Alex Grace of Grace Construction, said it would be the first Hyatt property in the city and would include a 10-foot setback in front for outdoor dining as well as an activated rooftop.
Elliott and Nina Davenport and Charlie Brock, who live at the nearby Crabtree condos on Williams Street, expressed concerns about the height and about increased traffic in an alley in the rear. Their emailed comments were read at the meeting.
Another resident said she was one of only three people at a meeting with Mr. Grace. She said the Southside neighborhood association was basically defunct.
Stroud Watson, retired city planner who has long lived in that neighborhood, said there should have been visuals presented to give an idea of how the hotel will fit into the neighborhood.
He said a decision should have been delayed because the panel did not have "full information." He said the plans were "hiding one of the stories."
Adam Kinsey sent an email in favor of the project, saying it would be "a huge step forward." He said it was much preferable to the current vacant lot.
There was confusion over whether the hotel will have five stories or six stories. Jim Williamson of the panel said drawings presented showed six stories at one part of the building, including an area for interior parking. Staff said that matter would need to be adjusted between the developer and city inspectors.
Mr. Williamson said, "A whole level of parking - that's not a small detail."
Beverly Bell, who chaired the meeting, said the approval was not unlike a recent one for a new boutique hotel on down Main Street. Work on that planned hotel has not yet started.
Board members David Hudson and Thomas Palmer recused themselves.