Continued from a May meeting, on June 12 Planning Commissioners viewed updated plans for a 190-room hotel at 2900 Lakeside Drive. The project was continued because several commissioners were not pleased with the plainness and boxiness of the previous design, especially since the hotel will be visible from Highway 101.
The project applicant presented the updated design, which included a glass tower element above the main entrance, stone material with added shadowed areas, as well as an undulating effect created by the positioning of glass windows on the ground floor. The presenters also noted that some of the mature Redwood trees on the property will be retained and that the taller AC Hotel is more visible from the freeway than the project.
“Travelers want to feel like they’re in the living room of Santa Clara,” said project applicant Andy Wood.
“We’ve worked hard to make some improvements on the elevation…design drives rates, travelers have choices,” he continued.
Wood explained that the hotel will be a Cambria Hotel by Choice Hotel International. Cambria is a newer brand with only 14 hotels currently in the Bay Area. He said that each hotel is unique to the specific location it occupies and that the design reflects the city it’s in.
Commissioners voted to approve the project despite mixed views on updated design; some were pleased with the changes while others want to see even higher quality. The project still has to go before the Architectural Review Committee, and the applicant vowed to continue improving the design prior to that hearing. The project’s approval came with a green light for an alcoholic beverage permit as well as the requirements for six electric vehicle parking stalls, seven additional parking spaces beyond the current 151, and 28 bike parking spaces in accessible locations.
The project is located on a 1.96-acre site at the corner of Lakeside Drive and Tannery Way. In addition to the 190 rooms in the five-story structure, the hotel will offer meeting space, an outdoor resort pool, fitness center and a guest diner. The development requires the demolition of two existing office buildings.
Commissioners listened to a lengthy presentation during a study session on the El Camino Real Specific Plan. A consultant spoke about ways to plan for retail development within the plan area given sweeping changes that have occurred in the marketplace in recent years.
Planning Commissioners voted on new officers during the meeting. Anthony Becker is now Commission Chair, Lance Saleme assumed the role of Vice Chair and Nancy Biagini became the body’s Secretary.