By Jordan Goltz
Meridian Times staff writer
MERIDIAN TOWNSHIP- “It’s not a room. It’s a residence.”
A Residence Inn hotel is up for discussion to be built in Meridian Township. This 3-story, 96-room project is planned for a 2.5 acre on the south side of Hannah Boulevard, east of Esoteric Way and west of Eyde Parkway.
Project Manager Mitch Irwin and General Manager Tracie Kent met with the Board of Trustees to introduce the project and answer questions.
“I was here back in 1999 when we had a similar discussion, where we put forward a proposal for the TownePlace Suites on Hannah Boulevard,” said Irwin. “Marriott has extremely high standards, and we appreciate being part of this community.”
Part of the proposal included that the project would be an environmentally friendly project. This includes the reusing of soap, to the lights in the parking lot. The Residence Inn plans to reduce its carbon footprint.
Trustee John Veenstra is all in for the project being environmentally friendly.
“I’m happy to see LED lights will be used in the parking lot, and to see that the hotel will be using a recycling program,” said Veenstra. “I think that it’s great that they’re trying to reduce their carbon footprint by 20 percent.”
The hotel would be equipped with a 96-space parking lot, an area that Veenstra is worried will not be large enough. Tracie Kent, general manager of the TownePlace Suites and proposed general manager of this hotel, reassured Veenstra and the board that the parking space is just the right size.
“Easily 20 percent of our travelers, on a given night, come as a car pool or as a transit,” said Kent. “One space per room is adequate. It’s not too much parking, yet not too little.”
Veenstra’s primary worry, besides the guests who are staying at the hotel, was parking for the hotel staff.
“The staff peak would be about 15 associates between the hours of 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.,” said Kent. “This is predominantly when our parking lot sits fairly empty. Most of our guests are here for employment, or have employment so they are off site.”
Trustee Angela Wilson is on board with the project.
“I’m happy that it’s a Marriott, a well known, well respected brand that’s going to be here,” said Wilson. “I’ve experienced a lot of stays at extended stay places and I appreciate having such a high quality place such as the Marriott.
This proposal will be brought up as an action item at the boards next meeting on Tuesday, Nov. 19, 2013 at Township Hall.