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Extended-Stay Hotel Approved For Davidson Avenue Lot With Existing Hotel

Artist’s rendering of the hotel which won approval Oct. 18 by the Zoning Board of Adjustment.


The former Crowne Plaza hotel on Davidson Avenue will be getting a hotel neighbor, thanks to an Oct. 18 Zoning Board of Adjustment approval.

The board approved an application for a 128-room, extended-stay hotel which will be owned by Somerset Hotel LLC, the same group which owns the hotel that began as a Marriott and was operated under a number of brands, including Crowne Plaza and Hotel Somerset.

The new hotel will be branded as a Marriott TownePlace Suites, the board was told.

The current hotel has been closed for renovations since 2016, although they started in 2013, attorney Peter Lanfrit told the board. Part of those renovations included removing 250 rooms in two wings on the building.

“By the time we finish the renovations to the original hotel, there will be $25 million invested,” he said.

The new hotel is planned to be built behind and to the west of the current building.

The new hotel will not offer amenities such as ballrooms or a conference center, the board was told. Being an extended stay hotel, though, rooms will be fitted with kitchenettes.

There was a bit of a flareup between one of the applicant’s witnesses and a board member over the size of the sign that Marriott won approval to put on the building.

Township ordinance sets the size limit of signs at 30 square feet. Marriott proposed a sign that is 146 square feet.

A 30-square-foot sign “would be much less visible, and Marriott Corporate, really, with all due respect, is going to dictate the size of their signs,” said architect Kenneth Schoenfeld.

“No they’re not,” board member Robert Shepherd shot back. “No, that’s not the way it works. See, we get to decide that.”

The new hotel will also feature an outdoor pool, the board was told.

The developer also won approval for relief from township parking requirements. For both hotels, the ordinance would require about 900 parking spaces, where 659 were proposed.

The project ultimately received unanimous approval.

 

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