By Reggie Ellis @Reggie_SGN
VISALIA – A new kind of hotel anchoring a unique project with classic English architecture took its first step to becoming a reality last week.
At its June 29 meeting, the Visalia Planning Commission approved a hotel that will bring Hilton Hotels & Resorts’ latest concept to Visalia. Hilton’s Home 2 Suites will be a four-story, 83 room hotel being proposed for the northwest corner of Plaza Drive at Highway 198 that is both environment- and pet-friendly. The extended stay hotel allows customers to bring dogs and cats, as well as birds, bunnies, turtles, etc. The hotel also uses recycled products in their building materials, compact fluorescent bulbs in all fixtures and dual flush toilets in every room. Their pools are saline-based and they offer a unique combination of laundry room and gym for those who want to get a quick workout while waiting for the clean clothes. The nearest Home 2 Suites is in Hanford, though there are no current locations in Fresno or Bakersfield.
The hotel will be located in The Square, a 25-acre business research park just north of 198, at the corner of North Plaza Drive and West Crowley Avenue. This is the first development of the master planned business park approved in November 2014.
In addition to the hotel, the development will integrate 97,200 square feet of office space, 38,200 square feet of retail, gas station/convenience store, 11,250-square foot restaurant space, 23 townhome residential units, 28 executive lofts, 808 parking stalls, and a pedestrian trail along the edge of the site, all onto a single campus.
The campus will have contemporary and modern “English” style architecture, including brick and stone veneers, gabled roofs with modern shaker roof tiles. The project will provide a basis for structures to be certified under the “Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED)” green building rating system.
The conditional use permit was approved 4-0 as commissioner Sarrah Peariso was absent.