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Boutique hotel with controversial rooftop bar finally wins Raleigh's approval

Raleigh City Council debated a rezoning request at 615 W. Peace St., which borders The Paramount, above.
Raleigh City Council debated a rezoning request at 615 W. Peace St., which borders The Paramount, above. ajohnson@newsobserver.com

A boutique hotel in Glenwood South that had faced opposition from nearby residents because of its rooftop bar has finally received the green light from Raleigh leaders.

The proposed luxury hotel at 615 W. Peace St. met a series of demands limiting the bar after neighbors at the 10-story Paramount condominium building said the bar would bring too much light, noise and traffic while also ruining their view.

"Our vision is to be the best-in-class hospitality in downtown Raleigh,' said Anuj Mittal, co-founder and CEO of MJM Group, the business developing the project. "We believe Raleigh is ready for a small, high-end, luxury hotel."

The approval of the rooftop bar was critical to the success of the project, Mittal said, adding they would not have pursued the boutique hotel if it hadn't been allowed.

The developer originally tried to get the property rezoned for a five-story building, but it was reduced to a four-story building with an option for a rooftop bar. Limits on the bar included preventing amplified music and overhead string lights while also reducing the rooftop hours.

"It finally came through," Mittal said. "I hoped they would do the right thing, and they did."

Construction would likely start in January and be completed in 2020. Though 50 hotel rooms are allowed on the property, Mittal said the limitations placed through the zoning process limit his room count to 40 to 45.

It's expected to cost anywhere between $16 to $20 million, and Mittal said developers are talking with independent boutique hotel groups out of Charleston, S.C., and Chicago to manage the property. They're also seeking out "renowned chefs across the United States" about the restaurant planned for the hotel. He expected to be able to name the chef and group in the coming months.

The hotel appeared before Raleigh City Council earlier this month, where Council Member Kay Crowder asked whether the developer would limit the building height from 62 feet to 58 feet. He agreed, and the rezoning was approved this week with no discussion.

The project needed to go through to meet the city's growing hotel demand, Crowder said at the time, adding that she suggested the height limit as a compromise between the developer and neighbors.

Anna Johnson; 919-829-4807; @anna_m_johnson

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