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If Roanoke City Council likes the proposals, the aim is to formally close on the agreements in late August, with construction to start Sept. 1.
JOEL HAWKSLEY | The Roanoke Times
A South Carolina development company is looking for ways to reduce the cost of a planned three-story hotel addition to downtown Roanoke's Market Garage.
Wednesday, July 24, 2013
The hotel planned for the top of downtown Roanoke’s Market Garage will rise three stories above the parking facility, plans just filed by the developer for city building officials show.
The plans, part of an 830-page application for a building permit, estimate the construction cost as at least $10 million.
The 123-room Hampton Inn & Suites will feature curved corner rooms and balconies overlooking the north and south ends of the small park next to the Norfolk Southern Corp. building.
Four other rooms overlooking the park, along with four rooms fronting on Church Avenue and four others overlooking the plaza next to the SunTrust building, also will have balconies, the plans show.
The plans also show a roughly 15,000-square-foot reception area on the ground floor of the garage, featuring a 152-foot-long lobby, three “assembly areas” to serve as business lounges or meeting rooms, an exercise facility, a small kitchen and office space.
There will be entrances on Church Avenue and off the park next to the Norfolk Southern building.
Roanoke Building Commissioner Jeff Shawver said Tuesday that he and his colleagues are already reviewing the plans and specifications, work they hope to finish in the next few weeks.
They’ll be looking to be sure the plans fit city building codes.
Included in that will be a focus on whether the materials and design of the building are strong enough, whether fire escapes are adequate and whether wiring, plumbing and heating and air conditioning systems will be able to serve the several hundred people who could be in the building at any one time.
“It’s a high-rise. ... If there’s a fire and everyone is opening doors to the stairwells, where’s the smoke going to go? You need big fans at the top to blow the smoke out,” Shawver said.
“It’ll need larger elevators than other buildings since they have to be big enough to handle stretchers, and you don’t want EMTs lugging a stretcher up nine stories,” he added. “There’s all kinds of new things to think of.”
The city and developer also have been putting finishing touches on key agreements covering the air rights over the garage that the hotel will occupy, a condominium agreement for the first-floor entrance to the hotel, parking for hotel guests and easements for utility and other access.
The city council has to approve all those. For now, if the council likes the proposals, the aim is to formally close on the agreements in late August, with construction to start Sept. 1.
Charles Reyner, project manager for Windsor Aughtry Co., the South Carolina-based developer, has said he hopes to hear from contractors this month to get their thoughts on costs and how to carry out the complex — and rarely attempted — task of putting a new building on the roof of another one, while people continue to use the existing building.
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