April 21. By Dave Vieser. They’re baaack: Scaled-down plans for a multi-story hotel on West Catawba Avenue will come back before Cornelius government officials. The original 14-story proposal went nowhere six months ago after plenty of neighborhood opposition.
Officially known as the Robbins Park Hotel, the plans submitted by Kingston, Jamaica-based Millingen Architects, on behalf of the property owners Sreeramulu and Prasunamba Nara, call for a 146-room hotel encompassing seven floors, across from Kenton Place at Waterview Drive.
Although smaller than the original proposal, the new hotel plan has already stirred up concern.
“From what we’ve seen of this second version it still has numerous issues,” said Randall Light, who lives nearby on Waterview. “We have questions on its viability; location, property values impact, and traffic impact…many problematic side effects from having a hotel in between two residential areas. If built, it will be the wart on the face of Lake Norman, totally out of place.”
Light and his neighbors are also concerned that they have yet to be approached by the developers or owners for a “constructive conversation.”
The site plan accompanying the application is punctuated by a number of assumptions by the property owners. Quoting from their submission:
- ”The site will be developed as a hotel. However, recombination, condominiumization or reduction of parcels may occur. Exact location of improvements will be determined during the construction drawing phase.”
- ”The size of the building parcel and footprint may vary.”
- ”The site may be phased”.
- ”The approved development plan would be vested for a period of five years from the date of the approval.”
The original combination 14-story hotel and convention center—unveiled almost one year ago—never passed muster with nearby residents.
However some town officials indicated that a smaller proposal might work. “Something in the 6-8 floor size range might be preferred,” said Commissioner Dave Gilroy at the time.
The new plan is expected to be unveiled at the town’s Pre Development Review Committee Meeting in Town Hall at noon on Monday.
Residents should get the first sense of whether the new proposal might stand a chance of being approved when the pre development review committee members meet Monday in Room 204 at Town Hall. The pre-development review committee was formed several years ago to give applicants an informal, unofficial sense of whether their proposals should proceed to a formal public hearing.