A proposed downtown hotel took another step closer to becoming a reality Monday night when the Leavenworth Planning Commission took up a rezoning request.
The site of the planned Hampton Inn at 405 Choctaw St. is currently zoned for light industrial use. Local businessman John Peterson, who is selling the property to a developer, has requested the site be rezoned to what's known as Central Business District.
The Leavenworth City Commission ultimately will have to approve the rezoning. But members of the Planning Commission voted unanimously Monday to recommend approval of the request.
Plans call for the hotel to be constructed at the site of the former Clark Mechanical business. An old warehouse building at the location would be torn down.
The Planning Commission held a public hearing Monday on the rezoning request. Dana Bowles with Kaw Valley Engineering reviewed design plans for what he said would be a 77-room hotel.
Jim Ecton, president of general contractor Level Builders, said construction of the building should take about 10 months.
Planning Commission Chairman Mike Bogner asked about plans for a red brick building located next to the old warehouse on the Choctaw property.
"It's going to be part of (the hotel)," Ecton said.
He said the smaller brick building will be used for meeting room space.
Following Monday's public hearing, Ecton said construction of the hotel could begin in August or September.
City Planner Ralph Moore said the rezoning request would have to be approved by the Leavenworth City Commission through the passage of an ordinance. He said the matter likely will come before the Leavenworth City Commission July 23. He the ordinance will have to be presented for first consideration before it can be brought back for second consideration and a vote.
In April, members of the Leavenworth Preservation Commission voted not to block a permit to demolish the warehouse at 405 Choctaw St. The Preservation Commission reviewed the request because the building lies within the environs of the Downtown Historic District and the Leavenworth County Courthouse, which are on the National Register of Historic Places.
Another hotel will be constructed at the north end of the city at Fourth Street and Metropolitan Avenue. That hotel is slated to be a 91-room Fairfield Inn and Suites. A groundbreaking ceremony for the hotel was held in May.