After some questions in December, a Tru by Hilton hotel is back on track to replace the former Holiday Inn in the new Worthington Gateway development.

Correction: Because of a reporter's error, a previous version of this story misstated Worthington leaders had rejected Witness Group's plan to build a Hampton Inn & Suites in Worthington Gateway. The city approved the plan last year, but the Hampton hotel for the development was scrapped by Hilton, which owns the brand.

After some questions in December, a Tru by Hilton hotel is back on track to replace the former Holiday Inn in the new Worthington Gateway development.

The Worthington Architectural Review Board and Municipal Planning Commission both agreed Feb. 13 to allow the Witness Group to build the 4-story, 108-unit hotel at 121 W. Wilson Bridge Road in the mixed-use development at the northwest corner of Wilson Bridge and High Street. During previous discussions, the hotel had a 7007 N. High St. address associated with the now-demolished Holiday Inn.

The hotel is approved and needs no variances from Worthington City Council, according to Lynda Bitar, planning coordinator for the city.

The boards in December had tabled the Lewis Center-based Witness Group's design on the Tru hotel as the company agreed to move forward with a revised architectural plan that all at the meeting seemed to agree was a much better fit.

“I like this one a whole lot better than the last one,” said Mikel Coulter, chairman of the ARB and MPC. “This is a much-improved design.”

Witness Group had intended to replace the Holiday Inn, razed a little more than a year ago, with a Hampton Inn & Suites, along with other commercial-use buildings.

But the Hampton was scrapped by Hilton, which owns the brand, because of market saturation, said Ohm Patel, CEO of the Witness Group, which will build and run Tru and construct the surrounding buildings in the mixed-use Gateway.

Tru’s new brick design has a mostly lighter tan facade, offset by darker gray bricks and accented by vertical color strips, horizontal banding and inset brick false windows.

Patel said the upper midscale 60,000-square-foot Tru is geared more toward the corporate traveler, offering coworking spaces and trendy design.

“It’s kind of catering to a different clientele – that millennial corporate traveler,” he said.

Tru is known for having smaller rooms with “lean design” components, including wall-mounted televisions, open shelves for unpacking, minimal furniture and larger bathrooms, according to hilton.com.

Patel said his company also will build five additional buildings in the Worthington Gateway, four along Wilson Bridge and one on High Street, ranging from 6,744 to 13,453 square feet for restaurants and small service-oriented businesses.

He said he estimates the entire complex would be constructed in 18 months.

On Dec. 12, the ARB approved the plan for the multitenant building that will go in front of the hotel.

Bitar said in December the multitenant building’s address would be 7105 N. High St., and it would incorporate different storefronts and roof lines to match other architecture in Worthington.

gseman@thisweeknews.com

@ThisWeekGary