By Karen Daniels
Chris Riggs, Building and Zoning Administrator for the City of Stafford, introduced a Specific Use Permit (SUP) request to the Planning and Zoning Commission for Towne Place Suites to build a four-story hotel on the 2.4 acres located on Fountaindale Drive, directly next door to the Staybridge Suites. Nupen Patel and Rahul Bijlani, representatives from K&K Hotel Group, are making the request to build the 96-room, mid-market, extended stay hotel. The average duration for a stay at this type of hotel is between five days and one month.
According to research presented by K&K, “Stafford’s hotel revenues have increased 15% a year for the last three years.” The majority of rooms are considered studios with kitchenettes and work stations, but some rooms will be available with one or two bedrooms. Amenities like free Wi-Fi and food and beverage availability are provided for the “no-frills experience for the business person that wants to get in and get out.” The hotel representative are predicting 15 to 20 new permanent jobs will be created, aside from obtaining bids from local businesses during the construction phase.
When the public hearing was opened, Nazar Momin, owner of Staybridge Suites, said that he is in favor of “controlled growth” in the City of Stafford. It has taken him “two years to finally be able to pay the bills” and he’s worried that a new, very similar hotel right next door to his, will hurt business. He would “prefer that they wait three to four years for the project” so that he may be better established.
K&K Hotel Group said that the project will take at least 18 months to complete. The design and planning will take four to five months and they hope to break ground in July or August of 2014. K&K further added that the two hotels are not direct competitors and Towne Place Suites is “one tier below” Staybridge Suites.
City Attorney, Art Pertile, advised the Planning and Zoning Commission that they were not to base their recommendation to Council on the fact that there will be two hotels next door to each other, but on the fact that their request meets the City’s requirements. The Commission unanimously made the recommendation for their approval to City Council.