Update: The Oakwood City Council voted to deny the hotel, saying it doesn't fit the residential character of the area.
A 5-story, 87-room extended-stay hotel got the initial OK from Oakwood Tuesday night — but just barely.
The Oakwood Planning Commission voted 2-1, with another member abstaining, to recommend approval of the Candlewood Suites hotel to the Oakwood City Council. The proposal would go before the council for a final vote on Feb. 10.
“I think the area needs a hotel like that, and that would be a good spot for it, with the interstate being there,” Commissioner Roger Roesler said in pushing for approval. “I think it’s going to be the nicest hotel in the area, and it will draw more business to the area.”
Commissioner Tony Millwood, who cast the lone vote against the proposal, had a different take on the 52,593-square-foot hotel, which would be at 3783 Mundy Mill Drive, behind Best Western Plus Lake Lanier Gainesville Hotel & Suites and near Mundy Mill Road and Interstate 985.
“I’m concerned with it,” he said. “I see something along those lines, possibly.”
But he said he thought the project, being requested by Detroit Lender LLC, “does not meet the character area” or the city’s comprehensive land-use plan.
Homes are on the property now and are off near nearby Briarwood Drive. Prestwick subdivision off Oakwood Road also is nearby.
Jay Patel, speaking for the franchisee, told the commission that the two homes now on the property are “old, dated houses that are in somewhat disrepair. We think that this (hotel) will be good for the area.”
Nightly rates will be $115, rising to $130 by the second year, he said.
“The type of customer that may be associated with extended stay — this is kind of priced out for them,” Patel said. “They’re staying at the other properties in Oakwood. I think you’ll get a lot more sophisticated corporate customers with this type of property.”
Candlewood’s website bills itself as having a “more casual kind of longer stay,” with rooms that have full kitchens and areas where customers can stock up on breakfast items, beverages, snacks and frozen entrées.
Detroit Lender is seeking to rezone five properties off Mundy Mill Drive and Oakwood Road for the project.
If approved, Candlewood would be Oakwood’s first new hotel in years. The Best Western took over the former Country Inn & Suites in 2012.