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Downey council approves hotel project on Firestone

DOWNEY — Plans are under way for a four-story, 140-room Marriott Springhill Suites hotel on a long-vacant city-owned site at 9066 Firestone Blvd., across from the Stonewood Center.

Aldo E. Schindler, director of community development, said if plans proceed, construction will start next year and completion is estimated for summer 2019. Estimated revenue to the city from its transient tax will be between $325,000 and $375,000 a year.

He said because of its “T” shape, the property has been a challenge to develop and has been under discussion with hotel representatives since November 2015. The project will require a number of zone changes that were approved by the City Council March 14. Final approval of the plan is expected at the next meeting March 28.

Under the ordinance:

• The sale of alcoholic beverages would be approved. Currently that is limited to restaurants in the Firestone Special Plan Area.

• Height restrictions for the zone, currently 38 feet, would be increased to 60 feet for the hotel.

• And landscaping along Firestone Boulevard would be reduced to two feet from the current 10.

City Planner William Davis said parking regulations for hotels had to be created as the current city ordinance had none. He said city staff studied parking requirements for hotels in Anaheim, which requires .08 parking spaces per guest room and eight spaces per 1,000 square feet of banquet and conference rooms. Based on those requirements, the hotel owners have agreed to provide 159 parking spaces.

Davis told the council that the plan includes a 3,000-square-foot banquet and conference room, to be leased privately; a fitness center, a buffet and lounge area on the first floor and a roof-top pool and bar, open to the public.

Alcoholic beverages and toiletries would also be sold in a 90-square-foot shop for hotel guests only, Davis added.

The Downey Planning Commission recommended approval Feb. 15.

Davis noted that the frontage along Firestone is only about 115 feet. The property does not widen to allow construction of the 88,550-square-foot building for some 215 feet south of Firestone. Entrance to the site will be shared with Dunkin Donuts to the west. It extends south about 50 feet from railroad tracks and is 150 feet north of the nearest homes.

Schindler said the site previously was occupied by a tire shop and a private Montessori school.

Some years ago plans for a Holiday Inn and restaurant were announced but those plans did not work out. Owners of nearby motels protested. No one publicly spoke against the current plan and one resident told the council he supported it.

“It’s a challenging site to develop,” Councilman Alex Saab said. “The hotel will be a great addition to the Firestone area.”

 

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