Newark residents on Sunday raised concerns about another hotel proposed for Main Street.
According to the proposal, the Main Street building that houses Playa Bowls, Tasty Wok and, until recently, Margarita’s Pizza would be four stories high, with retail space below and 12 apartments likely to be rented to students above. In the rear of the building, a five-story parking garage was created with a hotel with 108 rooms and a total of 10 floors.
At a Sunday community meeting hosted by developer Danneman Properties, locals raised concerns about the impact of the proposed project on traffic and whether its scope would be distinctive of Newark.
“The size of the building is too big for Newark,” said fifty-year-old city resident Frances Hart. “It’s too big.”
Isabel Lopez, who lives in Newark, also contradicts the style of the project. “You really have to put something nice,” she said. “This hotel? It’s a box.”
George Danneman of Danneman Properties says the proposed building should reflect older Newark architecture. “The brick and everything looks very similar, the windows, the Deer Park, the Opera House, some of the more classic buildings that have been around Newark for a while.”
A Danneman SpringHill Suites hotel opened in downtown Newark last year. A seven-story Lang Development Group Hyatt hotel was approved for Main Street in March, just blocks from where this latest hotel project is being proposed.
But Danneman says there is still a demand for hotel rooms in the area. “There are national market research firms that analyze the market and tell you whether or not additional space is required in the market,” he said. “And there is definitely a need. We have a market study that shows us that this makes financial sense. “
“We wouldn’t do it otherwise,” added Danneman. “I represent my family and I wouldn’t make a bad business decision for my family.” The Danneman family has owned one of the parcels they want to renovate since the 1950s when they housed Dannemann’s fabrics.
Danneman’s team stressed on Sunday that the project would contribute to Newark’s parking shortage. The city-administered multi-storey car park, which is administered by the city, offers space for 292 parking spaces as well as parking areas. The company says although hotel guests would use some of the spaces, most guests’ cars would be gone during the day, when the demand for parking in the city is highest.
Steve Kessler, attorney at Danneman Firm, said it would also advance the goals of Newark’s Comprehensive Development Plan by creating jobs around $ 750,000 annually and boosting the local economy. Danneman officials say hotel guests could spend more than $ 1.7 million a year on local businesses – but some who attended Sunday’s meeting feared the proposed project could “cannibalize” other hotel companies in the area .
Danneman officials expect the project to pay additional property taxes of $ 100,000, more than $ 130,000 in Newark’s lodging tax, and more than $ 350,000 in state lodging tax. They say it would also buy $ 150,000 of utilities from the city of Newark.
According to Kessler, Danneman Properties is hoping to start construction next June, but updated plans have yet to be submitted to the city’s planning department. The project is not yet to be voted on by the city council.