Siena Hotel officials revealed a plan Monday that could add 61 rooms and a five- or six-story addition to the 1505 E. Franklin St. business.
The concept plan was submitted to get feedback from the Town Council but is not an official application. The plan is being revised, hotel general manager Anthony Carey said. The final plan could include a new pool and another 4,000 square feet of meeting and banquet space, he said.
The four-story Siena Hotel opened with 79 rooms in 1987. The proposed expansion would reflect the same Italianate style and be located on hotel property behind the Kangaroo gas station.
Construction could cost the hotel some parking, project engineer David Cates said, but overflow, valet parking would be available at the FastMed building, at the corner of Estes Drive and East Franklin Street.
Digital Access for only $0.99
For the most comprehensive local coverage, subscribe today.
A 24-hour valet would park cars based on how long a guest plans to stay, Carey said. A dinner guest’s car might be parked on site, for example, while an overnight guest’s car might be parked at the satellite lot. Other nearby parking lots may serve the hotel in the future, he said.
The expansion plan requires rezoning the roughly 2.5-acre site – now community commercial – to village mixed use. Ground-level heating and air-conditioning equipment would be moved to the roof of the new addition.
The work is expected to generate more than 70 hotel and construction jobs, project officials said. It also could produce more than $175,000 in town and county property taxes – the property tax bill was $130,369 last year – and more than $185,000 in occupancy taxes, they said.
They also could work with the Chapel Hill Public Library to pave a makeshift path from town land on Estes Drive to the library for better public access, Carey said.
Real estate investors Govind Chandak and Prateek Chandak, of The Focus Properties and Aanika Hotels LLC, paid roughly $6.3 million for the Siena Hotel and the ground-floor Il Palio Ristorante in 2009.
The hotel is full at least a hundred nights out of the year, project officials said. That doesn’t mean the Chapel Hill hotel market is ready for many more rooms, Carey told the council. Gateway areas, such as Obey Creek across from Southern Village and the Edge on Eubanks Road, are “a great place for additional hotels,” he said.
“For us, the luxury market and a boutique-style hotel is very strong,” Carey said. “The Franklin and our hotel are very strong, and we’re fortunate enough to have this consistent growth.”