New Albany News

Hampton Inn likely to become city's second hotel

By ThisWeek Community News  • 

New Albany likely will have a second hotel by next year.

City officials expect construction of a Hampton Inn on Woodcrest Way to begin in a few months.

"We are excited to welcome a second hotel to the community," said Jennifer Chrysler, New Albany's community development director. "We believe that our growth since 2009 supports at least two hotels for business travel.

"Additionally, New Albany has grown into a destination place for programs and events -- from recreation, to the (Jeanne B. McCoy Community Center for the Arts), to Healthy New Albany. The hotels will support the needs of our residential population, as well."

The city's first hotel, a Courtyard by Marriott, opened April 18 on Forest Drive. The four-story hotel has 122 rooms.

Developers of the Hampton Inn are interested in 2.4 acres northeast of the Marriott, on the opposite side of Woodcrest Way, said City Planner Steven Mayer.

Larry Canini of Canini and Pellecchia, the owner of the property where the hotel will locate, said his vision always has been to have two hotels in the area.

"They hope to break ground in August or September and it will take 12 to 16 months for them to get open," Canini said.

The Hampton Inn would be a four-story hotel with 114 rooms. It would face Johnstown Road.

Canini said the hotel will be in a 50-acre development that includes the Courtyard by Marriott and Tutor Time Learning Center. He said 20 acres of commercial and office space currently is undeveloped.

Canini said the two hotels could encourage development of more retail businesses in the area, which are needed to serve the day-time population.

The New Albany Planning Commission on May 20 was expected to review a conditional-use permit, five variances and the final development plan for the hotel.

The five variances from city code are: to reduce the number of parking spaces from 124 to 115; to reduce the height of two loading spaces from 15 feet to 14 feet; to reduce the parking setback from Woodcrest Way from 20 feet to 10 feet; to increase the building height from 45 feet to 53.8 feet; and to eliminate the requirement for an operating front door.

Mayer said the property is zoned as an infill planned-unit development, which allows hotels as a conditional use but requires approval by the planning commission.

"This property was rezoned just months before the recession," Chrysler said. "The second hotel indicates that the economy is growing. We anticipate that these two development projects will be an anchor and attraction for other retail amenities to support the 12,000 people that will work in the (New Albany) business park within the next two to three years."

Chrysler said the city has several businesses expanding and new businesses moving into the area that will increase the city's day-time population.