Boutique Hotel Planned for Peace Street Pending Rezoning Request

Corner of Boylan and Peace Street

At 615 West Peace Street, a request to rezone the property from 3 to 5 stories is working its way through the system. The developer wants to put a boutique hotel at the corner of Peace and Boylan.

At this point, only the request and information about the required meeting with nearby residents is posted on the city’s website. (see Z-017-17) I’m going to borrow some words from a regular commenter to the blog who was at that meeting.

In their initial pitch last night to neighbors, the developer promises a boutique hotel at that site but wants to exceed the NX-3-UG. The developer’s request came with no plans, elevations, or even design concepts to share. They have made no front-end investment in design services to sell their product but want neighbors to give their blessing to the zoning change to either 5 or 7 floors.

Thanks, John!

I kind of think that we have a wide gamut of proposed developments out there. Developers need a little salesmanship and need to do their homework regardless if they have a good idea or not. I really liked this article in the N&O comparing the pitches between 301 Hillsborough and 400 Hillsborough, both projects we’ve talked about on the blog.

You can see the reaction to a polished presentation versus the opposite.

It’s early on this project for Peace Street so we’ll see where it goes.

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  1. One of the buzz words in design today is “storytelling” and a good current presentation is going to do just that. Good designers will listen carefully to their client and pay close attention to the context to provide relevant solutions.
    That said, good storytelling isn’t a replacement for good design. Oftentimes good designs are lost because the story couldn’t be told. The opposite is true as well when a good storyteller can’t design their way out of a paper bag.

  2. @Stew. Ha! McDonald’s designed to an urban form? What urban form? It’s a suburban box dropped down in the middle of an encircling drive-thru route. The attached “facade” canopy does nothing to engage the pedestrian, rather it’s a temporary cover for the cars driving through the circulation pattern.
    As for the Boylan Flats, that property is already zoned for 5 floors. It’s not the same thing.
    As a resident of The Paramount, (I don’t face the property in question) I understand that this use for the property is far better than looking across the street at a McDonald’s but I don’t agree that it’s a no-brainer for approval. I would hope that they city is smart enough to realize that their only leverage for getting what they would really like built is to put conditions on the design/setbacks, etc., in exchange for approval. Not sure if this is allowed by the state but it’s the only leverage that the city has. We’ll see….

  3. In theory I like the height, however renderings would definitely help the developer’s proposal move more smoothly through the approval process. If ’boutique’ is what the developer is going for, I imagine when its said and done this will be a good addition to corridor. I do wonder what the kind of parking is being proposed.

  4. @John532 – Perhaps you’ve missed my attempt to be humorous and sardonic vis-à-vis the McDonalds comment …

  5. @CX: well, this is the entire problem. The developer is asking for a variance from the city and alignment with the neighbors with almost no collateral to make an informed decision. The bird’s eye view of the building massing that they showed was literally a white box plopped down on the site as viewed from the nearish NE of the site. There were no elevations. There was no real site plan. That said, the developer said that they are open to discussing/agreeing to step backs, etc. in order to get alignment with The Paramount. There’s just been nothing put on paper comparing what is allowed under their current zoning to what they’d specifically propose under their variance request. It just doesn’t seem to be a very professional process so far.

  6. 3 vs 5 stories does potentially change the lives of those north facing condo’s owners quite a bit. Having said that though, do north facing owners really care about sunlight in the first place? Slightly humorous, but also, having known people who never put the shads up, like, ever, I do wonder who these folks are and what their real concerns are. I seem to remember that the Paramount won a rezoning back in the day…

  7. I am trying to figure out why the developer bought the land before he had it rezoned? I don’t see how the site works with traffic flows on Peace & Boylan. Where will the entrance be? Where is the parking? Plans? I don’t think the Paramount owners will go along with the rezoning. There are no adjoining commercial properties that are higher than one floor and the ones across the street are formerly residential houses with limited vehicle traffic. The height limits are meant to ensure a gradual height increase as you work your way downtown which is why it is zoned for NX-3-UG. If the site was next to a DX-5 I could consider it but it is not. Maybe he should have bought Glenwood Towers instead.

  8. @ Drew
    Thank you for the update!
    I hope that they are at least meeting with city officials?

  9. @BC, My guess is that they intend to put parking on facing the Paramount’s parking on the back of the property (which would make sense) and the entrance to the garage off of Boylan near the Paramount’s garage entrance. I really can’t imagine another way that won’t cause a traffic nightmare on Peace.
    It’s been weeks now since the presentation to us (Paramount residents) and I’ve seen absolutely nothing shared from the developer that would compel me to get behind his rezoning request. Sloppy, just sloppy.

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