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June 3, 2009 > New extended-stay hotel planned for Union Landing

New extended-stay hotel planned for Union Landing

By Ceri Hitchcock-Hodgson

Business people visiting Union City can look forward to staying at Candlewood Suites, a high-end, extended-stay hotel. It will be built alongside the existing Holiday Inn Express, inside the Union Landing Shopping Center, located on Alvarado-Niles Rd between Union Landing Blvd and Dyer St.

In 1987, the Holiday Inn Express was developed on approximately 1.67 acres of a 2.74 acre site which the owner, Lotus Hotels, was permitted to divide in 2007. Candlewood Suites will sit on the other 1.06 acres.

Extended-stay hotels provide lodging for a longer period than typical hotels which rent rooms for an average of three nights to vacationers. Extended-stay hotels cater to business travelers for at least five nights in rooms that are usually larger and more luxurious than standard hotel rooms and include amenities such as fully equipped kitchens.

The proposed new building has been sited to minimize visual impacts on Alvarado-Niles Rd and will be similar in massing and height to the adjacent hotel, which property owners indicate is expected to undergo renovation, enhancing the overall visual quality of the site. Candlewood Suites will be a 46,800 sq ft, 56 ft high, four-storey building with an 11,780 sq ft footprint and concrete-tiled roof.

Adequate parking is a concern. According to Union City's Zoning Ordinance, hotels must maintain one parking space per hotel room and one parking space per two employees on a maximum shift. The new hotel requires 92 spaces. Holiday Inn Express and Candlewood Suites have a combined parking demand of 174 spaces.

Parking spaces required for the 8,400 sq ft Manila Dental Center & Orthodontics office between Holiday Inn Express and Alvarado-Niles Rd compounds the parking issue. The dental surgery's quota means less available space for Candlewood Suites. Following Lotus Hotel's traffic study and observations of the site at different times by City staff, the Council supports the application.

The property owner asserts that two hotels in one property is an efficient use of space. The dual-inn site will cater to both holiday and corporate guests. A grassy common area with a gazebo will connect Candlewood Suites and Holiday Inn Express and display public art.

Lotus Hotels and the City are keen to follow green building practices including, but not limited to, installation of alternative energy sources including photovoltaic panels, low-toxic paints, sealers, adhesives and solvents, installation of water and energy efficient appliances and fixtures and use of sustainable or recycled construction materials. The property owners will meet with the Economic & Community Development Department to discuss the incorporation of green building measures into the project.

Existing fencing will be extended and new fencing erected between the neighboring movie theater and the hotel site to prevent hotel guests parking in truck spaces behind the theater.

Union City Council approved the development with a 4-0 vote. Councilman Manny Fernandez recused himself.

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