Jul 23, 2014 Jason Emerson Uncategorized
Cazenovia will have a four-story, 82-room hotel and conference center located in the Village Edge South area on Route 20 across from the Town and Country plaza — the result of last week’s unanimous approval by the Village Planning Board of the subdivision, site plan, architecture and special permit application of Cazenovia Hospitality LLC.
“I am very excited about the approval; we have been working on the plan for several years,” said Dan Kuper, owner of The Lincklaen House and president of Cazenovia Hospitality LLC. “The village was very receptive to the plan, and with the help of the planning board, Historic Preservation/Architectural Advisory Review Committee, Cazenovia Preservation Foundation, Cazenovia Advisory Conservation Commission, Economic Health and Heritage Committee, the village tree commission and J.S. Hagan and the rest of our team, we were able to come up with a design for the property. The next step is to secure financing, go through final stages with our franchise application and then take bids for the construction of the project.”
Kuper said he hopes to break ground in the fall and open in late spring 2015.
Kuper’s proposal — which he has been working on for five years and which has been winding its way through the village approval process for nearly six months — is to build a national chain hotel that will have 82 rooms and a conference facility for 300 people. The conference facility will be one floor and the hotel will be four floors. There will be no restaurant in the hotel. The number of parking spots has yet to be determined.
Kuper has said that his proposal was created to help improve the lack of sufficiently-sized hotel and conference facilities in Madison County.
“I do not feel this will affect the inns in town but it will keep the people from staying in Carrier Circle and near the casino that have business in the area,” Kuper previously said. “There are different travelers — ones that like historic inns, of which Cazenovia has three of the best around — and the people that like to stay in chain hotels with elevators and swimming pools.”
Kuper gave informal overviews of his proposal to the village Planning Board and the village Historic Preservation/Architectural Advisory Review Committee early this year, and in April presented his preliminary plan to the planning board.
The planning board files, available for public viewing in the village office, show that the state office of parks, recreation and historic preservation found the plan will not disturb or destroy any architecturally significant land; GTS Consulting of Chittenango completed a traffic impact assessment of the project and determined that it will have “negligible impacts” on existing Route 20 traffic movements; and all stormwater management concerns and engineering have been addressed.
Also in the file is a recommendation report from the Madison County Planning Department in support of the hotel project.
“From a county level, we believe a hotel/conference center is a unique use for the county overall and one that has been missing in our area. We are aware of several missed opportunities in the past due to our county’s lack of conference space and options for accommodations. We believe that this project can be a benefit to the village and the county overall,” the report said.
The county planning department also said the site plan “does a good job of anticipating future growth in the VES district through the provision of future streets and sidewalks, and that the VES design guidelines “seem to serve the project well.”
Planning Board Chair Rich Huftalen said the board has been reviewing and working on all four of Kuper’s applications — subdivision, site plan, architecture and special permit — simultaneously because they were all inter-related. The subdivision application allows Kuper to carve out a six acre piece of the entire VES area for his project, while the special permit will allow Kuper to build a four-story structure. Under the new VES design guidelines, no building may be higher than three stories without obtaining a special permit from the planning board.
“The significance of the approval means it allows [Kuper] to proceed with financing and the franchise application,” Huftalen said. “So yes, there will be a hotel and conference center in Cazenovia.”
The hotel proposal was reviewed, and incorporated suggestions from, village engineer John Dunkle, Don Ferlow and the Cazenovia Advisory Conservation Commission, the Cazenovia Preservation Foundation and the Historic Preservation/Architectural Advisory Review Committee, Huftalen said.
“This is the culmination of a pretty exhaustive process,” he said. “I think this can be a great project for the community and the county.”
Jason Emerson is editor of the Cazenovia Republican and Eagle Bulletin newspapers.