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Updated 4:23pm - Sep 16, 2014
Updated 3:46pm - Sep 2, 2014

Home arrow News arrow Local News arrow COUNCIL APPROVES PLAN FOR RESORT HOTEL

COUNCIL APPROVES PLAN FOR RESORT HOTEL

By Scott Graves

Triplicate staff writer

A block of A Street will be vacated to make room for a proposed resort hotel near Battery Point Lighthouse, the Crescent City City Council unanimously decided Monday .

Weve been talking about getting a destination resort since the mid 80s, and I think thats what well get with this project, said Mayor Mike Scavuzzo.

Getting the councils approval was the biggest hurdle for San Francisco developer Xiao Jin Yuan, who wants to build a destination resort hotel on a 3.2-acre ocean bluff at the end of Front Street.

Yuan has reached an agreement with Hilton Hotels Corporation to build a Hampton Inn Suites at the site.

Yuan has already entered into a purchase agreement with the Del Norte Health Care District, which owns the site. However, the deal was contingent on the project being approved by the city council.

The councils decision on Monday followed a two-hour public hearing attended by more than 70 people.

A majority of the audience, which included neighbors of the proposed site, spoke out in favor of abandoning part of the street.

About a dozen residents, including several owners and managers of local motels, spoke against the action.

The most vocal of the dissenters was Bhanu Patel, owner of several motels in Crescent City, including the Best Western Northwoods Inn.

Patel had been accused in the past and at Mondays meeting of opposing the project for fear of competition.

This isnt about competition I like the project, but Im against giving away a public street to a private business. Especially one that will be an ordinary 50-unit hotel, Patel said.

Other motel owners and several residents echoed Patels sentiments throughout the meeting.

Tim Nelson, resident manager at Travelodge on Highway 101, said a new hotel in town would hurt business at existing motels. He said that most of Crescent Citys motels on average are below the 50 percent occupancy rate.

More motels will create more problems, Nelson said.

Yuan disagreed, saying that his hotel will not hurt existing motels because it appeals to a different clientele.

Yuan and proponents of the project also said it will help improve the local economy by creating decent paying jobs for local people. The hotel will also help broaden the citys tax base and help draw more tourists into the downtown area.

Patel disagreed with those claims. He also doubted Yuan could build the type of resort he says he can.

Even now Mr. Yuan says he is only going to build a 50-unit hotel. He has not given any guarantees when the next phase will be built.

And Yuan said he wont.

I cant predict the market or what will happen in Crescent City, but I promise that, at the earliest possible moment allowed, I will complete the project, he said

Yuan initially proposed building the resort in three phases, with the first being the construction of a 50-unit hotel complex complete with 13 suites and an indoor pool with a view.

The later phases would include 50 more rooms, a gift shop and a restaurant with a banquet or meeting facility.

But on Tuesday Yuan said he would build the first phase and then combine the last two phases into one to allay fears that the project might never be fully realized.

Yuan had both his project architect and a franchise director from Hilton speak during the meeting to back up his commitment.

Helping the city councilmembers make up their mind was a clause in their approval in which A Street would revert back to the city should Yuan fail to build the entire project or violate any terms of the approval.

It was a condition Yuan was willing to accept.

I feel the people of Crescent City have made a wise and reasonable decision, Yuan said after receiving the councils approval.

This project is a project for the people of Crescent City. I am just one small part of it.

The final design and other aspects of the project will still need city approval.

If all goes well, Yuan anticipated construction would begin in November. The first phase would be completed in March, he said.

I cant predict the market or what will happen in Crescent City, but I promise that, at the earliest possible moment allowed, I will complete the project, he said.

Yuan initially proposed building the resort in three phases, with the first being the construction of a 50-unit hotel complex complete with 13 suites and an indoor pool with a view.

The later phases would include 50 more rooms, a gift shop and a restaurant with a banquet or meeting facility.

But on Tuesday Yuan said he would build the first phase and then combine the last two phases into one to allay fears that the project might never be fully realized.

Yuan had both his project architect and a franchise director from Hilton speak during the meeting to back up his commitment.

Helping the city councilmembers make up their mind was a clause in their approval in which A Street would revert back to the city should Yuan fail to build the entire project or violate any terms of the approval.

It was a condition Yuan was willing to accept.

I feel the people of Crescent City have made a wise and reasonable decision, Yuan said after receiving the councils approval.

This project is a project for the people of Crescent City. I am just one small part of it.

The final design and other aspects of the project will still need city approval.

If all goes well, Yuan anticipated construction would begin in November. The first phase would be completed in March, he said.

 


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