The proposed $14 million Candlewood Suites Extended Stay hotel would consist of 122 suites, which would each be 300 to 400 square feet and cost occupants around $450 per week.
The council voted 5-1 in favor of the project, with Holly Walquist opposed and the Rev. Anthony Coleman not present. Before voting, Roger DeBoy, CEO of de Oplossing Inc, the contractor for the project, gave a presentation.
DeBoy, who is considered by many to be a Marietta insider, is responsible for the Emerson Overlook development on Roswell Street and his company renovated the Strand Theatre on the Marietta Square. He also worked with developer Wes Godwin in building the Marietta Mill Loft building, which went into foreclosure.
"It will definitely look like a brand new building," DeBoy said of the extended stay building.
But that might not be the case later down the road, said Abdul Amer, president of A&R Engineering, which is located in the office complex neighboring the property.
Amer, who represents the business owners in the Kingston Court office complex, told the council they are concerned that the extended stay hotel could turn into a slum down the road in an area that already has a high crime rate.
He also noted the reduction in parking with the proposal from 207 spaces to 167. He said he was worried of spill over into Kingston Court.
Walquist echoed some of Amer's concerns when stating why she voted against the proposal.
"I didn't approve an extended stay property because of what it might look like after 10-plus years," she said. "I also don't think it is the best option for our gateway to Marietta."
Councilman Jim King said he was concerned about hotel/motel tax collections.
He said when the Holiday Inn was operational, it brought in a significant amount of hotel/motel tax for the city.
DeBoy said the average stay at the extended stay hotel would be 12 days. King said the hotel/motel tax is "clipped off" after 10 days.
DeBoy said construction on the suites would start as soon as possible. Each suite will cost about $65,000 to build.
Sanjay Patel, with Diplomat Hotel Company, which owns the property, said the suites would be move-in ready by September of next year.
Diplomat Hotel Company, of Atlanta, bought the property from Lodgian, Inc., for about $5 million last summer.
Diplomat officials said when they bought the property their plan was to turn the building into a seven-story, 154-room hotel under the Holiday Inn brand, build a 4,200 square foot restaurant next door that may house an Applebee's restaurant and build a six-story, 50-room hotel, possibly a Summerfield Suites by Hyatt, next to the restaurant, all of which would cost between $12 and $14 million.
The goal at that time was to open in early 2010.
Moreover, if the project was successful, another four-story, 75-room, $4 million hotel, which could be a Country Inn and Suites, was planned for the north end of the five-acre tract.
Fast-forward a year later, and the council approved Patel's request for an extended stay hotel for the site instead.