Verona could have a fifth hotel a year from now.
A plan for a four-story, 120-room facility with an events center, a bar and a pool is up for review at the Plan Commission on Wednesday, April 3, and possible approval by the Common Council the following week.
It’s the final piece of the Sugar Creek Commons redevelopment of the 500 block of West Verona Avenue, which has gone back and forth with the city for more than two years over a variety of issues, including apartment density, displacement of the current tenants and several million dollars’ worth of requested taxpayer funding. The 10-acre redevelopment plan would tear down a long-abandoned truck stop, a former auto repair shop, a car wash and several small apartment buildings and replace them with apartments, retail shops and the hotel.
The hotel was included in the general development plan of the site, which is the second of three public phases of the planned-unit development process, which allows for variations from zoning in exchange for a more detailed approval process and more control over architectural design. The GDP covers the overall site concept and such aspects as building size and shape, traffic and parking. The third phase, the precise improvement plan, controls finer details such as visual design, landscaping, lighting and utilities.
Developer Forward Development Group hopes to break ground on the hotel this summer and open in the spring, according to its submission to the city. It would hire about 20 employees.
The building would feature a 3,100-square-foot banquet center on the first floor and a 4,000-square-foot high-ceilinged grand ballroom on the second and third floors. It would also have a 1,500-square-foot bar and lounge on the first floor.
The submission indicates the hotel would be managed by the same company that runs the Holiday Inn Express and Fairfield Inn and Suites on the next block to the west. That factors heavily in its plan for shared parking.
The plan would build 153 parking stalls for this project, which is about 100 less than Verona ordinances require, based on the maximum occupancy of the rooms and the event center. But the submission states that the other two hotels, which ferry many of their clients directly from the Madison airport, use only about half the spaces they have.
A public hearing on the project is set for the meeting, which begins at 6:30 p.m. The meeting is being held two days later than the normal date for the Plan Commission because of the election.