Updated: Thu, 02/14/2013 - 08:30

New hotel planned for MLK

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Downtown’s Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard corridor continues to be a hotel destination.

Plans for a 142-room hotel to be built just north of Oglethorpe Avenue were studied Wednesday by the Savannah Historic District Board of Review. The board expressed several concerns with the plans and continued review of the project to a later meeting, meaning it still needs two approvals before construction can move forward.

The six-story property, referred to as Hotel Lina, is to be built on the vacant lot once home to an Econo Lodge demolished in 2007. Several new hotels have opened in the corridor since the Econo Lodge met the wrecking ball, including a Hampton Inn, a Residence Inn and a Four Points by Sheraton.

An Embassy Suites is under construction around the corner from the proposed Hotel Lina.

Plans call for additional hotel projects farther north along Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard at Georgia Power’s Plant Riverside site and in the vacant hotel annex across River Street from the shuttered power plant.

Hotel Lina is to be developed by local hoteliers Anil and Kirit Patel. Their RK Hotels operates five hotels in south Georgia, including a Hampton Inn at Interstate 95 and Ga. 204 and a Quality Inn on the southside.

The group is also developing a boutique hotel in the Ryan Building on River Street.

The Hotel Lina plans met with pushback from the historic review board Wednesday, particularly in regard to the accompanying parking lot.

The site is L-shaped, with frontage on Oglethorpe Avenue as well as Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard. The hotel’s parking lot would front on Oglethorpe.

“That’s one of the gateways into the city,” board member Jerry Lominack said, “and it’s a parking lot.”

Anil Patel told the board he plans to build a second hotel on the site fronting Oglethorpe at a later date.

“It’s a matter of financing right now,” he said. “Our goal is to do one hotel and come back down the line and put a second hotel facing Oglethorpe, as well as a parking garage.”

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