Council approves 152-room hotel

After debate over the size of its signs, all members approve the Hilton Garden Inn.
Tuesday, June 22, 2004 | 12:00 a.m. CDT; updated 6:56 a.m. CDT, Monday, June 30, 2008

The CenterState Crossings development between Vandiver Drive and U.S. 63 will now include a four-story, 152-room hotel as well as another 45,000 square feet of retail and restaurant space.

The Columbia City Council voted unanimously Monday night to approve plans for a Hilton Garden Inn that will sit near Bass Pro Shops, though several members did express concern over the number of signs that will adorn the new hotel.

“We hope to break ground now in the first or second week of July,” said developer Raman Puri.

Plans for the hotel, as presented to the Planning and Zoning Commission at its May 20 meeting, included a request for signs larger than are typically allowed for commercially zoned areas. Ordinarily, the hotel would only have been allowed to have 256 square feet of signs; plans for the new Hilton included a total of 368 square feet, a point not lost on some council members.

“I think it’s got too many signs,” said Fourth Ward Councilman Jim Loveless.

Mayor Darwin Hindman proposed an amendment to the bill restricting the signs to 256 square feet. The amendment was seconded and was about to be voted upon when Puri rose to speak in defense of the proposed signage scheme.

Noting that the signs were meant to bring people in from U.S. 63, Puri said the signs are imperative to the business because most people arrive after 7 p.m.

“The signs are very tasteful. They’re not gaudy,” he said.

Puri also said the signage scheme used is the same as that used on a three-story Garden Inn hotel.

“We didn’t make any increases even though this will be a four-story hotel.”

After Puri had made his case, Hindman withdrew his amendment.

The council also approved Curtis McDonald’s request to rezone another section of property inside the CenterState Crossings development and to go forward with the construction of a commercial development consisting of 45,000 square feet of retail and restaurant space.

The new development will sit adjacent to the Bass Pro Shops. It has not yet been determined what shops will be located inside the new shopping center.

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