Developer Daly Seven Inc. may build a set of hotels on Harrison Avenue near Interstate 40 and the entrance to SAS Institute.
Daly Seven is exploring whether it could accommodate business travelers with two or three hotels on a 7-acre property next to the intersection of Harrison Avenue and Renaissance Park Place, said Bob Daly, president of the company.
Developers would need to rezone the property to allow for a hotel on the land, said Debra Grannan, a Cary senior planner. The company submitted preliminary rezoning paperwork to Cary in December and recently met with Wessex residents.
Some Wessex residents said they’re hesitant to endorse Daly Seven’s idea because concept plans call for a 100-room five-story hotel and a 230-room six-story hotel. They said the buildings would would overlook their homes and diminish their property values.
In a phone interview Friday, Daly described those plans as “very tentative” and said the company hasn’t decided whether the site is appropriate, how many hotels to build or how big to build them.
He said the company met with residents because it wants to hear their concerns and address them if plans move forward.
Daly emphasized that if the company builds hotels on the lot, it would do so in phases that likely would span six or eight years.
“Our goal is to not do anything that would intentionally harm anyone,” he said. “We’re still in the stage of understanding the market and what it can absorb.”
The Harrison-I-40 interchange is a hub for the SAS Institute campus, the Arboretum shopping and residential complex and Bass Pro Shop.
It is home to Embassy Suites Raleigh and the Umstead Hotel and Spa. Daly said those hotels have higher price points than what Daly Seven might build.
Daly Seven, a family-owned company incorporated in 1983, represents Marriott, Hilton and InterContinental Hotels through its various properties, according its website. The company is in talks with national hotel chains about this property, but hasn’t reached any arrangements, Daly said.
On Harrison Avenue, Daly said the company would seek to accommodate long- and short-term business travelers, such as those who might visit nearby MetLife. MetLife, which will soon open a global technology hub off Weston Parkway, must hire 1,200 people under an incentives deal it reached with the state in 2012.
“If there are events, we would benefit from that, too,” Daly said, noting the site’s proximity to RDU International Airport and PNC Arena.
“We need to keep monitoring the market and finalize what the layout would be, and hopefully have support from our neighbors,” he said.
Wessex is home to 202 residences. Vickie Maxwell, president of the neighborhood’s homeowners association, said it’s unclear whether the neighborhood would oppose a Daly Seven rezoning request.
If residents file a valid protest petition against a rezoning request, state law requires local governments to approve the request with a supermajority rather than a simple majority.
“A hotel might not be the worst option,” Maxwell said. “But maybe this particular option is a little too big to back up to homes.”
Maxwell and Chris Anson, a Wessex resident whose property abuts the site, said they appreciate that developers are reaching out to them.
At Monday’s meeting, Anson said Daly Seven representatives “seemed to listen very well and answered questions.”
Anson said he understands that someone likely will build a commercial development on the land behind his house at some point. But a set of tall hotels squeezed into an oddly-shaped site doesn’t bring value to his home, he said.
“We don’t like the idea of having a hotel in our backyard,” Anson said. “If it has to move ahead, we would want some concessions on barriers, buffers, tree lines, et cetera.”