Williamsburg City Council will have the final say on a request to rezone the Econo Lodge at 216 Parkway Drive for conversion into an affordable apartment complex at its meeting next week.
Ajit Patel, the owner of the Econo Lodge, plans to convert the 48-room motel into an apartment building with 42 adaptive housing units called Parkway Landing at Williamsburg, according to a memorandum in the public notice for the meeting.
The planned 42 units would consist of 34 efficiency units and eight one-bedroom apartments. The complex would have 42 parking spaces along with a lounge, laundry, exercise room and pool.
The request to rezone the motel from its current designation in the city’s Corridor Business District to a Planned Development Housing District was unanimously approved by the Williamsburg Planning Commission last month, and its members agreed the change would address a need for affordable housing in the city.
In the city code, adaptive housing is defined as efficiency and one-bedroom apartment units with cooking facilities created from an existing hotel or motel and used for affordable and flexible-term housing.
Scott Foster, former Williamsburg vice-mayor and associate attorney with James City County law firm Tarley Robinson, spoke at last month’s Planning Commission meeting on behalf of Patel as his attorney. If approved, rents at the apartment complex would range from $695 to $995 per month, he said, or $750 to $1,050 per month including utilities.
The apartment complex would be marketed to the area’s workforce, as well as students and seniors, Foster said.
“We believe adaptive housing is the highest and best use for this parcel, and that use would benefit the city, the micro-economy of the northeast triangle, Mr. Patel and most importantly, future residents of the complex,” he said at the meeting.
The city’s B-2 Corridor Business District applies to shopping areas, hotels, restaurants and tourism-related retail along busy city roads, according to the city code. The Planned Development Housing District allows hotel and motel rooms in the city’s B-2 District to be converted into adaptive housing, the city code states.
Residents of neighborhoods that surround the Econo Lodge who were in attendance at the Planning Commission meeting largely spoke against the proposal, citing concerns about parking availability, added traffic and the high density of the apartments. City Attorney Christina Shelton said a maximum of three occupants would be allowed to live in an efficiency or one-bedroom apartment.
In an email, Foster said the project should be complete by summer 2020 if approved by the city.
Where: City Council Chambers, Stryker Center, 412 N. Boundary St.
When: 2 p.m. June 13
Arriaza can be reached at 757-790-9313 or on Twitter @rodrigoarriaza0.