WALNUT CREEK — A new 124-room, four-story Hilton Gardens Inn motel was approved Tuesday night, with City Council members touting the project as a welcome use for a parcel the city has wanted to put to use for years.

“I’m delighted we’ve been able to bring this to fruition,” said Mayor Pro Tem Cindy Silva, one vote of a unanimous council approval of the project.

The new Hilton Gardens Inn is planned for 2.26-acre parcel immediately southwest of the intersection of Lawrence Way and Penniman Way, just southeast of the Interstate 680/North Main Street interchange and next to the Stead Automotive Group dealership property. It would be close to two existing hotels, the Walnut Creek Marriott and Motel 6, both on North Main.

The Walnut Creek Planning Commission approved the project on April 26. Part of the council’s approval Tuesday night was to change zoning for the 2.26-acre parcel from Auto Sales and Service use to Planned Development use.

A key unresolved issue is that hotel construction would hamper access in and out of the Stead dealership’s service building area, and take some parking away from the dealership.

Don Cape, director of development for Tharaldson Hospitality Management, which operates Hilton Garden Inn and other hotels, said an adjustment of the property lot lines will allow for space for that access, and that negotiations have been underway to make those adjustments. The city of Walnut Creek, which still owns the property that would eventually become hotel property, will also have to be involved with the solution, Cape said.

“We think there’s always a solution that can be found,” Cape told the council Tuesday. Stead attorney David Bowie agreed, saying, “The dealership will need to find a way to replace that parking. We expect to work all the issues out.”

City leaders have been looking for years not only …read more

Source:: East Bay – Business


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