Fairfield Inn makes pitch for 5-story PTC hotel on Hwy. 74

A proposal to rezone property on Wisdom Road near Ga. Highway 74 for a new 81-room Fairfield Inn hotel in Peachtree City has resurfaced.

In a preliminary vetting by the planning commission Monday night, it was noted that one of the most challenging issues for the 2.8 acre site is that it backs up to the rear of the Wisdom Point retail center, which offers a less than appetizing view but abuts the main entry drive and a courtyard area on the current schematic plan.

Architect Daniel Lemberg said he felt dense evergreen landscaping could help screen that view appropriately.

Another perhaps more significant challenge is the need for a rezoning for the property. Currently it is zoned general commercial, but due to the building height limit of 35 feet in that district, the developer is seeking a limited use commercial zoning to reach the maximum height of 60 feet for the building.

While the planning commission will make a recommendation about the rezoning, the final say rests with the Peachtree City Council. A similar proposal was shot down by the council in 2008 when a variance for the building height was denied.

The site is directly across Wisdom Road from the Delta Community Credit Union.

Commissioners also suggested Monday night that the developer make sure to provide screening for the adjacent Woodsmill Apartments. The plan includes at least a 75-foot buffer, much of which is already wooded, according to architect Lemberg.

Another idea was to try and figure out how to make pedestrian access easy so hotel clients will be able to walk to the nearby restaurants instead of getting in their car and driving.

The proposed exterior for the hotel building is stucco (EIFS) and gray brick, but there will be no concrete block. The hotel would feature an indoor pool and board room for meetings.

Planning Commissioner Aaron Daily said he has worked with Lemberg in the past on other architecture projects, noting that Lemberg “will do whatever he can to do the right thing; he is always very conscientious.”

Although a four-story plan was initially submitted for the hotel, the five-story plan has a smaller footprint and eliminates some parking. There is also room on the site for a future 75-room building.

Fairfield Inn and Suites is owned by Marriott International of Bethesda, Md., which also owns the Courtyard, Springhill Suites, Residence Inn, Town Place Suites, and Marriott Executive Apartments chains, as well as the super-luxury Ritz-Carlton.

Robert W. Morgan
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Is this not the worst marriage of a site and a use - ever?

Is it just me or does it seem like a hotel on what is basically an overflow parking lot for a cluster of restaurants a really, really bad idea? And at 60 feet tall it will stick out like a sore thumb. And you stll won't be able to park anywhere near there at lunch or dinner.

Without even addressing the lack of firefighting equipment for a 60 foot tall building, it seems there are much better places to put this thing. Kedron, Lexington, even some tear-downs of empty banks or fast food places make more sense. Even the recently refinanced and foreclosed Brookside building (what a story that is of criminal behavior that is - and remains untold) would be a perfectly affordable teardown with plenty of parking.

Maybe the landowner is dragging a truly bad idea before the city trolling for an inappropriate comment from someone so they can launch a lawsuit. Possible?

Busy Bee
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Well Robert, please tell us

Don't be a tease - what about the untold story of criminal behavior involving the Brookside office building? And who is the owner of that building?

As for inappropriate comments, maybe we could affix some duct tape over Dandy Don's mouth until due process has been completed...

Robert W. Morgan
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Gonna have to be careful with this one

Feds are investigating and no charges have been filed - yet. Rumor has it that one of the Brookside partners - a former big shot refinanced the building, pulled out several hundred thousand dollars and never made a payment - forcing the bank that owns it now to foreclose. He, of course has disappeared, his company is bankrupt, his personal house in foreclosure. The bank and some its directors should have known this was going to happen given the players involved, the timing and other factors, but again - no charges filed yet. My guess is that the bank is mighty uncomfortable about this right now.

Their best option would be to sell for a huge loss and move on. Of course if one of their directors or officers was less than vigilant on the refinance transaction, moving on may not be possible.

Busy Bee
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Interesting

So would this bank by any chance be local? That "big shot" doesn't sound like he's such a big shot any more... Actually he sounds like a real scumbag.

Robert W. Morgan
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It is possible to be both a scumbag and a big shot

as proven by this individual and many others. Actually this guy has been a scumbag before during and after his short stint as a big shot in PTC - and that wasn't much of a secret to anyone around him. This is why the bankers that did the refinace may have some liability - IMHO.

Info on the bank is public record - I'm not naming it.

But back to the original subject, who thinks it is a good idea to put a hotel on that miserable little piece of land?

Spyglass
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Wisdom Road alternatives?

Commercial zoning is a wide open field.....what could be built there in the future?

Could we get something worse in the future?

The site of the beautiful Racetrac comes to mind in this scenario. I think PTC could have done MUCH better.

Lastly, do we have the Firetruck capability to handle a 60 foot tall building...I do like the idea of a smaller footprint, in theory at least.

Busy Bee
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A 60 foot tall building will be pretty ugly

Does our fine city have any building height limitations? Those little 30 gallon maples that the developer will be required to plant will have to grow a long time before they cover up a 60 foot tall concrete box.

Please tell the mayor to keep his mouth shut so we don't get sued again and end up stuck with something we don't want.

Husband and Fat...
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Fire Trucks

We most likely do have height limitations. Back in the 80's I was involved in a project where the municipality liked what was being proposed, but didn't have the fire resources to fight a fire in the building due to the height. The client offered to purchase a ladder truck that would allow proper fire coverage. The project was completed and the ladder truck delivered to the municipality at the grand opening. It was a win win in that case.

Busy - I agree. Keep the mayor out of the meetings before he screws something up.

moelarrycurly
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Marriott should be welcomed

by this city in every possible way. They are a world class brand, have over 3,700 properties in 74 countries. We would be more than well-served with their presence here. A 5 story hotel behind the existing properties that front Hwy 74 will be an appropriate fit. Less than a quarter mile directly south of there is the Hilton Garden Inn, sitting at a much higher elevation, and on a smaller piece of property, 4 stories tall. Does that stick out as an eyesore? I think it enhances our city. I am thrilled the Hilton brand is here and would encourage Marriott to be part of our community, also. Marriott usually does not leave it at one brand property when the move in to a new market. They will also be looking at other opportunities for other brands they offer.

The days of active hotel fires with flames shooting out the windows are over. Major hotel brand specs and building codes require sprinklered buildings with cooperation and coordination of fire departments and EMS at the local level.

With the proper buffering and screening, this will be a terrific use of this land I encourage the city staff and Council to approve this rezone.

mudcat
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Yes, Marriott should be welcomed - but there?

Got to be better places than that.

moelarrycurly
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Mud

Where better than on the only state route to our city from Atlanta? Walking distance to shopping, restaurants, bars, gas station, etc.? Golf cart path access. Visibility and location are right up there on the "appropriate spot" list for a major brand hotel. So, why not?

Busy Bee
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You do have some good points there Moe

Compared to the Hilton Garden on the hill, it will be about the same height above hwy 74. - Just please make it look decent with adequate landscaping!

I suppose it will create a good business opportunity for one of the restaurants to offer a breakfast service.

Think of the additional hotel/motel tax that would come into the city! Doesn't seem to bother Marriott that the rate has increased...

As Spyglass pointed out, there could be much worse options on commercially zoned property.

moelarrycurly
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Beeee

Thanks. Just a few minor corrections. Fairfield offers a breakfast, as do almost all hotel chains now. However, that does leave lunch and dinner and drinks and nightlife and shopping and recreation rentals, etc. that will provide income.

The hotel/motel tax has not increased. And remember, hotel chains could care less if the tax is 1% or 20%. (Hotel owners do care, if it affects their being competitive with tax rates in surrounding taxed districts). It is the entity paying the hotel bill that has to absorb any tax increase.

mudcat
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Hotel/motel tax has increased 2% and no, it is not big deal

That increase just happened a couple of months ago in case you missed it.

I do think this location is bad - not for the customers, but for the city and the news story about how the 6-story hotel burns down killing 50 or 60 or 200. I don't want that.

NUK_1
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Hotel Motel Tax hasn't increased yet

It has to be approved by the State Legislature before it would go into effect.

I like the location and Welcome to PTC, Fairfield/Marriot! A lot of very positive things happening suddenly in PTC/FC overall, save for the tough measures the BOE is having to implement.

Mike King
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NUK_1, mudcat

One does have to admit that positive things are happening in PTC and Fayette County such as Kroger's expansion, Fairfield/Marriot, and the pending British movie company for example. One has to recognize the timing of this as FCDA has taken the leadership role in development issues.

Don Haddix
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Haddix: Nope

The FCDA does good work but it had nothing to do with Kroger or Fairfield. In fact nothing to do with either Shopping Center redevelopment or Fresh Market.

I know you don't want to hear it, but, minus Fairfield, those were purely DAPC, as far as authorities go.

Nor was Kroger a new plan. We knew about it back during the redevelopment. A purely Kroger initiative.

Oh, yea, DAPC was also involved in some of the other projects you are seeing now. They didn't just happen overnight.

Mike King
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Mayor

Remain delusional and continue crediting a disbanded and dead authority. The credit you extend them only comes because you believe it benefits your position of wishing to reestablishing it.

mudcat
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DAPC will rule, Mike. Wait and see.

or at the very least be a frontline issue that is pushed during the next election as the savior of Peachtree City. Pretty soon DAPC will even be credited for the movie deal. The campaign promise will be that DAPC will be brought back, funded and supported. Naturally da mayor will point out that those evil other 3 closed up DAPC to spite him and he may even find a real gullible candidate running against one of the ladies to parrot that nonsense. It is all he's got. Economic development success (real or imagined) distracts from the $12,000 and the lawsuits and even Joey Grisham. Seriously doubt it will get him reelected, but clearly anything is possible when half-involved and ill-informed people go to the polls.

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