City gives final approval for new hotel in downtown area
Cobblestone Hotels was given the final approval of its conditional-use request to build a four-story, 61-unit hotel in the downtown area of Stevens Point by the Stevens Point Common Council Monday, July 18.
Cobblestone Hotels, a national chain of boutique-style hotels, plans to build an upscale hotel on the parking lot on Centerpoint Drive next to the Great Lakes Educational Loan Services call center.
Previously, the city approved an approximate $1 million developer’s agreement package with Cobblestone to build the hotel. The agreement included a developer’s incentive in the downtown tax incremental district 6 (TID 6) of $850,000, all of which is expected to be paid back in 11 years through tax increment.
Cathy Dugan, District 8, said she did not like Cobblestone’s definition of “boutique” because the building will be too large, isn’t unique as it is part of a chain of hotels, she didn’t like the materials planned for use and that a local contractor will not be used.
She also complained about how “blank” the north side of the building will be and how tall it is planned to be built. She said she also did not like how the company’s website had already developed a webpage for the Stevens Point location and listed it as “under construction,” so she wouldn’t vote for it.
“I want to go on record as saying the building is not quite in concert with my ideas of what the downtown needs,” said Dugan. “It looks like a warehouse.”
However, the Cobblestone’s site plan was reviewed and passed by the Historical Preservation Committee – which is charged with keeping the image of downtown true to its historical nature – at its July 6 meeting.
“I’m pleased to see it made it through Historic Design’s review,” said George Doxtator, District 1, before making the motion to approve the conditional use.
“Well, I’m going to definitely vote for it. I, too, did some research on Cobblestone,” said Mary McComb, District 9. “We could argue about the definition of boutique, I think they mean small. I am disappointed they aren’t using a local builder, that was very appealing. But as a downtown business owner and a longtime Stevens Point resident, I am so excited to get a hotel downtown.
“I think it’s a fairly good-looking building, honestly,” she said. “I think it looks good, I think it’s well placed. I don’t think it looks like a ‘warehouse,’” said McComb. “I’m just tickled about this. Yeah, maybe ‘we could do better,’ but this is the bird in the hand. I really hope we do go for it.”
The council voted 10-1 to approve Cobblestone’s request. Dugan was the only vote against.