City eyes hotel parking
The Grass Valley City Council is moving forward with its effort to develop more parking for a downtown hotel and convention center.
To address the lack of on-site parking at the three-story, 56,500-square-foot Holiday Inn Express planned for Bank Street, the city is attempting to acquire an approximately 9,000-square-foot undeveloped lot fronting Bank Street behind the Circle K gas station, which is on South Auburn Street.
While Joe Heckel, Grass Valley community development director, said the effort to purchase the parcel from Kayo Oil Co. at market value is a “friendly acquisition,” the company has yet to respond to an offer made by the city.
“They have no long-range plans for the property,” Heckel said. “We’re moving ahead to secure the property at market value and then convey it to the (hotel and convention center) developer at market value and turn it into a parking lot.”
Although the city planning commission reduced the number of parking spaces originally called for in the project by 20 percent, from 203 to 162, the project would still be about 40 spaces short without the nearby lot being folded in.
On Tuesday, the council, acting as the Grass Valley Redevelopment Agency, will decide if it needs to start the eminent-domain process – used by governments to take ownership of private land – for the parcel as part of the development of the hotel-convention center.
Heckel said the project developer, Hallmark Funding, has plans to break ground on the project this spring. Efforts to reach Hallmark representatives were unsuccessful Friday.
Last August, the city planning commission approved the 80-room, three-story hotel and conference center on a 2.2-acre site on Bank Street. Also approved as part of the project was a 5,755-square-foot office and retail complex.
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