Pearland Approves Plans for Country Inns & Suites Hotel
Texas Construction News from Virtual Builders Exchange
Illustration of the Country Inns & Suites hotel designed by Wadhwa & Associates of Houston.
Posted 2-6-2017, 3:56 p.m.
by Adolfo Pesquera
Pearland (Brazoria Co.) - The Pearland Planning and Zoning Commission approved a conditional use permit for a four-story hotel project being proposed by GK Hospitality Services of Houston.
Ali Khan, the representative for GKHS, proposed at the Jan. 30 meeting to construct a hotel at 8541 Broadway Street. This was the second presentation before the P&Z, which had rejected the project once before.
There were many revisions to the project, based on commission and city staff input.
The landscaping was enhanced, including additional screening and the addition of a fountain opposite a covered breezeway entrance to the lobby, Khan noted. The number of rooms was reduced from 86 to 78 and the building footprint was moved to the front of the lot; this hides parking from the main entrance.
Khan said GKHS has originally planned an economy hotel, however, staff pressed for a more upscale product.
This led GKHS to a contract with Country Inns & Suites by Carlson, a decision that increased the construction costs, taking the project from about $4.5 million to almost $6.5 million.
Staff did not recommend the project. The lot size is 1.8 acres and in making a case for denial, staff said the lot was too narrow for the scale project being proposed. There were also objectsion to the landscaping strip to the rear, which was said to be too narrow at 2 feet, and the roof height exceeded the city building standard.
Mahesh Wadhwa, the principal at Wadhwa & Associates Inc. and the project architect, said the rear landscape buffer should no longer be an issue since it was being revised to more than 4 feet.
Most of the roof height was at just under 45 feet, the maximum allowed for the site, Wadhwa said. The staff objection had to do with a gabled roof that comprised 25 feet of the building's 177-foot length.
Wadhwa said the gable roof, which is 55 feet high, is a signature feature that is a "franchise architectural requirement of Country Inns & Suites."
Another architectural improvement was the use of additional glass in the facade. The commission was told 25 percent of the elevation was comprised of windows, a feature they were told is unheard of in such a project. The remainder of the exterior is masonry (stucco and stone).
The main point of discussion among the commissioners was the roof height. They ultimately agreed, by unanimouos vote, to recommend the project, with a motion that stipulated a limit on the roof area that could be above 45 feet.
The total building area is 45,264 square feet, according to the site plan. The ground floor footprint is 11,466 square feet and floors two through four are 11,266 square feet each. The project includes an outdoor pool, 79 parking spaces and a bicycle rack.
Adolfo Pesquera is a veteran news journalist. He has previously worked for Hearst Corp., American Lawyer Media, News Corp and Freedom Communications. His work has been published in newspapers and magazines throughout the United States. He is a communications graduate of the University of Texas-PanAmerican.
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