The proposed Hampton Inn near the intersection of School House Road and Cave Creek Road was the subject of a special meeting of the Town Planning Committee on September 13. The hearing had been continued due to a number of questions including traffic, water, and drainage. The proposed hotel will have 115 rooms and 24 casitas. It will also have two swimming pools and a pad for a 4000 square foot restaurant.
A traffic study was presented at the meeting which showed no change to the level of service regarding the intersection of Cave Creek and School House Roads. However, the plan did not factor in the restaurant traffic and will have to be redone. Also new Town Engineer Hal Marron, found the wrong maps had been used for drainage. He was not able to attend the meeting but Town officials said he had walked the property with the developers and was confident the drainage could be handled properly.
It was discovered there is an existing well from a residence that previously existed on the site. The water has tested better than the water the Town gets from the Central Arizona Project. A will serve letter for an earlier proposal for a residential development allotted just over 16 acre feet of water for the parcel. There was concern that amount would not be sufficient for the hotel. The onsite well will be refurbished and a new pump installed and the well water will be used for irrigation and pools.
As part of the agreement, the developer will build infrastructure to connect the well to the Town’s raw water line. If the hotel uses any more than the amount in the will serve letter, they will pump water from their well into the Cave Creek water system. It will be metered both ways and quarterly reconciliation is planned. The developer provided water use comparisons from two other Hampton Inns in the Phoenix area showing that they used less than 16 acre feet.
The developer J. F. Carter said they plan to spend about $25 million dollars to construct the hotel, about a third more per room than similar Hampton Inns. He said the average cost per room for construction averages about $136,000 per room, they are spending about $186,000 per room. He presented documents showing the Town would reap an estimated $5 million dollars in tax revenue in the first ten years.
The inn will be a franchisee of Hilton Hotels and will be run by Lincoln Hotel group. According to their website Lincoln Hotel Group currently manages six hotels in Nebraska and one in Colorado with two other properties in development or under construction. 42 fulltime jobs are expected to be created once the hotel opens.
The only public comment came from Kerry Smith. He voiced concerns over traffic, noted there was no mention of any negative economic impact from reduced property values in the area, and suggested the hotel post a bond as further assurance that the water usage will be kept down.
The Planning Committee, with member Tom Davenport absent, voted unanimously to recommend approval of the site plan by the Town Council providing a number of conditions be met including the traffic study and drainage plan. The Town Council will first have to approve a development agreement for the site before the Council can vote on the site plan.