Construction expected to start in spring on hotel adjacent to Hampton Inn
The Village of Grafton Plan Commission granted a series of approvals last week that clear the way for construction of the 87-room TownePlace Suites on the east side of I-43.
The commission gave conceptual approval to the hotel project in December.
In all, the commission took five separate votes on the project last week, each dealing with a technical aspect of the development forwarded by American Architectural Group.
Two public hearings were held in conjunction with the project, but no members of the public raised any concerns about the hotel.
Recognizing the interconnected nature of those approvals, Village President Jim Brunnquell introduced the discussion of the hotel plan reviews by saying they would be dealt with as a single entity.
With the blessing of the village, the four-story, 52,851-square-foot residential suite hotel will be built immediately south of the existing Hampton Inn & Suites.
Before the plans could be considered, the 15.4-acre parcel on which the building will be erected had to be rezoned from Planned Industrial District to C-4 Freeway Interchange Business District.
A staff review of the rezoning request said the change “is consistent with the recommendations of the village’s comprehensive plan and Port Washington Road corridor plan.”
The hotel will occupy only 3.3 acres of the parcel, with another four acres reserved for future retail development. The remaining seven acres will be left undeveloped.
According to documents submitted by the developer, .44 acres of that open land has been delineated as wetland. Because of the sensitive nature of that area, the Ulao Creek Partnership was consulted about the development.
A Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources review of the application noted 87,655 square feet of wetlands will be left undisturbed on the parcel, as well as 42,471 square feet of flood plain and 474 linear feet of navigable waterway.
No right-of-way is dedicated on the certified survey map because the property will be served by a private road to be named Gateway Drive.
The conditional-use permit required for the hotel spelled out five expectations for the project: it will operate around the clock; the building will be limited to 52,851 square feet; no outdoor storage will be allowed; the surveillance system must be approved by the police department; and all building codes must be followed.
Director of Planning and Development Jessica Wolff told commission members that the placement of security cameras still had to meet standards set by the police chief, but said the developer was confident those issues could be resolved.
Police have asked that cameras provide surveillance of hallways, the pool, exercise room and parking lot.
Among the site plan issues adjusted at the request of the village is the relocation of a sidewalk to provide internal access on the site, as well as to a future restaurant envisioned to be a part of the overall development.
According to the planning documents, the application process for that restaurant will be initiated early next year.
“I look forward to hearing about that restaurant,” Brunnquell said to the developer at the conclusion of the hotel approvals.
While reviewing the signage plan, Wolff explained that the commission would have to grant a waiver since 305 square feet of signs were proposed — split over the four faces of the building — but the village code allows a maximum of 200 square feet.
“You should know the request is about half of the signage that was allowed at Hampton Inn & Suites,” Wolff said.
The commission unanimously approved the sign waiver.
“This is one of the most complete applications I’ve ever presented,” Wolff said as an introduction to the series of unanimous votes.
Brunnquell was unapologetic about the swift way the commission acted on the various approvals.
“You have to remember, we’ve been dealing with this project for some time,” he said.
Construction of the hotel is expected to begin in April.
Image Information: A RENDERING SHOWS the TownePlace Suites, which has been approved to be built on the east side of I-43 immediately south of the existing Hampton Inn & Suites.