Friday, November 6, 2015

Design Review for Second Hotel on Henderson


Above: A Hilton Garden Inn on Henderson Boulevard near I-5 and Watershed Park is currently under construction. A new Marriott owned hotel is proposed to be built on two lots adjacent to the Hilton. Both hotels would share a main access road, seen here, stemming from the roundabout on Henderson.

By Janine Gates

The city’s Design Review Board will hold a special meeting on November 12, at 6:30 p.m., Room 207, at Olympia City Hall, 601 4th Avenue. This meeting will offer the opportunity for the public to comment on the designof a second new hotel off Henderson Boulevard.

The hotel applicant, SPS Lands, LLC of Lakewood, is Han Kim of Hotel Concepts, and is represented by architect Glenn Wells of Olympia. 

The four story, 113 unit hotel called Olympia Courtyard Hotel would be owned by Marriott and could accommodate 250 persons on a nightly basis. It will have a restaurant, but no swimming pool.

The 2.82 acre property is situated on lots 1 and 2 of a commercially zoned area near I-5 near Watershed Park and the future Olympia Woodland Trail. A Hilton Garden Inn is currently under construction nearby on what is called Lot 3 of the Henderson Commercial Park.

According to the project’s State Environmental Policy Act report, 73.8 percent of the property will be covered by impervious surface, including room for 118 parking stalls.

Moss Lake is on the site, as well as standing water. The lake was filled in due to the construction of I-5, but is still noted on maps. All trees and vegetation would be removed from the site and upland neighborhood views of I-5 and the sky could be obstructed by the hotel. 

Members of the Wildwood Neighborhood Association worked with the city and the applicant of the Hilton Garden Inn to improve its design, and will be communicating their concerns regarding the new hotel, such as visual and light pollution, traffic, and other environmental issues, as well as cumulative impacts to the area. 

The hotels will be a stark visual contrast to the tranquility of nearby Watershed Park, a protected 153 acre area which contains trails, wetlands, and the Moxlie Creek Spring Basin that served as Olympia's first water source.

In a February letter to the city, the Wildwood Neighborhood Association board says that freeway noise has increased substantially since the clearing of the property.

The project is projected to generate 980 trips per day with 64 trips anticipated for the morning peak hour and 72 trips during the evening peak hour. The neighborhood is concerned about the increase in traffic along Henderson Boulevard, which will make the intersection at Henderson and Eskridge even more difficult to navigate.

Developers hope to break ground in spring of 2016.

Comments about this project may be submitted to Cari Hornbein, Senior Planner, Community Planning and Development Department, City of Olympia, 601 4th Avenue East, Olympia, Washington 98501 or chornbei@ci.olympia.wa.usor (360) 753-8048.

For past articles about the land use history of the Henderson Business Park area, the hotels on Henderson Boulevard and the Wildwood Neighborhood, go to Little Hollywood, www.janineslittlehollywood.blogspot.com and type key words into the search engine.