After last month’s vote by Delaware City Council not to approve the development of Wesleyan Inn, it seemed the hotel proposal that would restore the historic Perkins House and bring Delaware downtown lodging had been defeated. Following the vote, developer Jim Manos, while shocked at the decision, said he would look into his options and move forward.
Now, it appears the idea of a hotel on West William Street near the campus of Ohio Wesleyan University is still alive, although that idea is taking on a little different look.
Under the original proposal, Manos was going to build a three-story, 43-room hotel as an addition to the Perkins House, located at 235 W. William St. As part of the development, Manos had purchased and planned to tear down the house existing immediately west of the Perkins home to make way for the hotel’s parking lot.
The parcel of land in which the house sits, zoned residential, proved to be the ultimate impasse for some council members who did not support rezoning the residential parcel for commercial use.
“For me, my concern is with the zone change,” Councilwoman Lisa Keller said at the Aug. 13 meeting. “In order to change zoning in a residential area to commercial use, I’d like to see more support from the neighbors, and certainly, from what I’ve heard, (we) don’t have that support to change zoning.”
Councilman Chris Jones echoed Keller’s concerns, but added he had no issues with the proposed hotel itself.
To remedy the two council members’ chief concern, Manos has resubmitted his proposal to reshape the way parking will be situated at the hotel. Instead of having a parking lot to the west of the hotel, Manos’ proposal will include raising the three-story hotel with brick supports to allow for parking spaces to be included underneath the building.
With the brick supports, the hotel would become a four-story structure, although the hotel, itself, will remain three stories. Manos said the space underneath the building will accommodate 11 parking spots, with the remainder of the spaces existing on the east side of the building.
Manos said he will still demolish the house at 239 W. William St. where he originally planned to put the parking lot, and he still intends to purchase the house at 243 W. William St. to offer as a rental. Of the parcel where he would demolish the existing house, Manos said he would “build a forest” between the hotel and the rental home if he needs to.
Manos maintains Ohio Wesleyan University is still fully on board with the idea of a hotel being integrated into campus. Asked if he anticipates any hang-ups with the new design, he said without requesting any type of zoning variances, which appeared to be the hesitancy with the original proposal, he wouldn’t expect any issues.
He added that, for good measure, Jeff Brown, a Columbus lawyer who specializes in zoning and land use, had been hired and added to his team.
No visual rendering for the new proposal is yet available, and Manos said the city wouldn’t have a rendering until Monday. His expectation is for the proposal to be in front of the Delaware Planning Commission for the Oct. 17 meeting.
Reach Dillon Davis at 740-413-0904. Follow him on Twitter @ddavis_gazette.