Traveling professionals might soon find new a home away from home in O’Fallon.
At O’Fallon’s Planning and Zoning Commission [P&Z] meeting on April 5, four different line items pertaining to the creation of a new Tru by Hilton Hotel were presented to the commission. The commission approved all items pertaining to the new hotel, including the rezoning of the property from Highway Commercial District [C3] to High Tech Corridor District [HTCD] to allow for the building’s proposed five-story height, a conditional use permit [CUP] to allow a hotel use within the district after rezoning, a motion for a preliminary plat and a proposed corresponding site plan.
The proposed development and rezoning will return to the city council for a first reading and public hearing at the April 12 meeting. The new hotel would be located east of Hwy. K on the northwest corner of the Technology and Crusher drives intersection.The company behind the new project is St. Peters-based Radiant Hospitality, with St. Louis-based Civil Engineering Design Consultants [CEDC] serving as the architect for the proposal. The potential property site is owned by Walmar Investment Company.
Tru by Hilton is a brand of hotels that was announced in 2016 and trademarked by Hilton Worldwide. The chain was created to reach a client base of younger professionals across the country.
“It’s a new hotel experience that Hilton has come up with which targets young adults, millennials,” Paul Boyer of Civil Engineering Design Consultants said at the April 5 meeting. “Their facilities are set up with large lobbies where they have public space. They’ll have common work areas, game rooms, lounges and so forth.”
Other examples of the hotel chain’s design include a sleeker aesthetic and compactly designed rooms.
Some of the amenities in place at existing Tru locations include free Wi-Fi, 24-hour lobbies, 55-inch televisions, build-your-own-breakfast bars, and an open room layout with platform beds and hanging closets. Food and alcohol are available round-the-clock in what the hotel calls its “Eat and Sip” lobby market. The location also would include a social media wall that, according to Boyer, “would be a live feed of Twitter accounts, Facebook and Instagram on a digital display.”
Due to the compact design and the emphasis on public space usage, rooms are typically priced at $100 or less. The hotel also would feature sidewalks to increase walkability in the area. According to Boyer, the location serves as a destination for traveling business professionals and that O’Fallon is “a good area for it.”
“You see MasterCard and similar businesses in the area, [and] other types of facilities are really targeting this type of young professionals, so it’s a facility that would be typically suited for that,” Boyer said.
The proposed location is currently undeveloped but is bordered by existing commercial zoning and land uses. Examples of surrounding businesses include QuikTrip, Lion’s Choice and Progress West Hospital along Progress Point Parkway.
The five-story hotel would face Hwy. K and is expected to include about 103 units with about 63 percent overall site coverage. The remaining area will be dedicated to green space. The accompanying parking lot is expected to hold about 111 cars.
The rooms lack amenities like in-room kitchens that prevent the building from being classified as an extended-stay facility; however, the commission added a condition to the passed legislation stating that a new site plan would have to be resubmitted to the city if the hotel ever wanted to pursue extended-stay options in the future.
According to Boyer, the facility hopes to break ground as soon as possible provided the council approves the company’s request.
“My four children are now 35 to 41, and that is right on target,” Commissioner Jim Frain [Ward 1] said. “If I went home and showed them this, they’d say, ‘We’ll come see you, dad, but we want to stay there.’ It’s very nice.”
The proposed O’Fallon location wouldn’t be the brand’s first home in St. Charles. Construction for another Tru by Hilton hotel is underway on Camelback Road, near the Streets of St. Charles with a tentative completion date of August 2018.