DeKALB – In what project leaders say could be a first for DeKalb County, a new Marriott-branded hotel could be on its way toward putting down roots on DeKalb’s east side.
The petitioner, Pramit Patel of EO5 Hotels, approached members of the DeKalb Planning and Zoning Commission Monday, asking them to support the rezoning request to help enable the project to proceed. City approval also is sought for waivers to the Unified Development Ordinance (UDO) for site coverage and parking setbacks.
In a 6-0 decision, the panel voted in support of the project moving forward, with one condition being that access to the site be revised with the approval of the city’s engineer. Commissioner Steve Becker was absent.
The DeKalb City Council, however, will have the final say on the petitioner’s rezoning request.
Patel, who owns and operates the Hampton Inn and Home2 Suites hotels off of South Annie Glidden Road in DeKalb, said he is confident there’s a demand for another upper-end hotel in DeKalb and DeKalb County.
“A Marriott brand is one that is not anywhere in DeKalb,” Patel said. “We’ve noticed that we have guests that are Marriott loyal that tend to stay in Naperville-Aurora to get their points while they’re working in DeKalb. So, this is a way to capture some of the tax revenue that’s generated.”
Patel said the new Marriott hotel proposes a different concept from what’s already offered in the city.
It would feature a four-story building consisting of 121 rooms that will share the same pool, front desk, lobby, parking lot and meeting room sprawled across 2.5 acres at 902 Peace Road, right between the Bumper to Bumper auto parts store and Fast Stop Express gas station, city documents show. Of the proposed rooms, 60 would be branded as Fairfield Inn and Suites by Marriott and the other 61 as TownPlace Suites by Marriott, city documents indicate.
The site requires city approval of rezoning from Heavy Industrial District to Planned Development Industrial District as the way it is now zoned the hotel would not be permitted, city documents show.
“A Marriott brand is one that is not anywhere in DeKalb. We’ve noticed that we have guests that are Marriott loyal that tend to stay in Naperville-Aurora to get their points while they’re working in DeKalb. So, this is a way to capture some of the tax revenue that’s generated.”
— Petitioner Pramit Patel of EO5 Hotels
Olson said that though project leaders are also requesting waivers to city code requirements, city staff’s recommendation is to approve the petitioner’s requests to help enable the hotel to proceed.
“They’re providing underground detention in the site, shared access with other properties, and meeting several goals and objectives of the comprehensive plan,” Olson said. “So, they get some additional bonus coverage for that.”
Commissioner Maria Pena Graham questioned if the construction laborers that the hotel intends to contract would be local to the project.
Patel tried to lessen the concern.
“We get bids from whosever available,” Patel said. “Certainly, we try to when we can use local.”
Olson said he views the potential for another hotel in town favorably.
“This will be the first Marriott-branded hotel in the county,” Olson said. “It’d be an option for visitors to the university, the ChicagoWest Business Center, Facebook, all the development down by I-88. Marriott loyal guests will have an option in DeKalb County.”
DeKalb doesn’t have any hotels located along Peace Road near the ChicagoWest Business Center.
Patel said a new hotel would seek to retain tax revenue that otherwise may go to other communities.
“With the growing development that’s happening in that business center, the additional corporations that are coming, there is a definite need for a dual-branded property like this,” Patel said.
Olson said he views the idea of this hotel serving as an anchor for economic activity going forward.
“Development should be a catalyst also for future development on Peace Road,” Olson said. “It’ll help serve a growing area down by the tollway.”
Project leaders anticipate starting construction in spring 2024 with an opening date targeted in summer 2025, city documents show.
Editor’s note: This story was updated at 2:55 p.m. May 3, 2023 to correct references to the location of the proposed hotel, which if approved will be on DeKalb’s east side.