Salisbury can soon boast upscale hotel

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, December 2, 2009

By Steve Huffman and Mark Wineka
An upscale hotel is coming to Salisbury.
Courtyard by Marriott is planning to build a four- or five-story structure off East Innes Street near its intersection with Interstate 85.
A sign at the site indicates the hotel will be built on land cleared to the south of Innes Street, near Cracker Barrel Old Country Store and Blue Bay Seafood.
Ed Zotian, land-use consultant for Arlington Partners II LLC of Winston-Salem, developers of the property, said the hotel will feature at least 90 and perhaps more than 100 rooms.
He said that while initial plans were for the hotel to be four stories, developers are now considering upping it to a five-story structure. Zotian said zoning for the property allows for a five-story hotel.
He said developers will appear before members of the Salisbury City Council Aug. 19 for final plat approval.
After that, Zotian said, he expects construction to begin “very, very quickly.”
He said he couldn’t estimate a cost of the hotel, but said that amount will likely be figured once the city gives its blessing to the property.
Zotian said the hotel site has been approved by officials with Marriott Corp. who, despite a lag in both the local and national economies, are confident the business will fare well.
“It will be a very nice hotel,” Zotian said. “We feel the demand will be there.”
He said the tract on which the property will be built measures about 8 acres and will be divided into two parcels. The hotel will be built on one of those tracts, Zotian said, and a restaurant will be constructed on the other.
He said the developer has narrowed the choice of restaurants “down to three or four.”
Salisbury Mayor Pro Tem Paul Woodson said the hotel’s coming is good for that East Innes Street corridor, which has transformed dramatically over the past five years with the I-85 widening, reconstruction of the interchange and addition of new restaurants and, now, hotels.
Some additions to that area have included a Comfort Suites hotel, Starbucks, Cracker Barrel, Pizza Hut, China Buffet and a couple of small retail centers.
The interchange also will be seeing an extensive landscaping project by the Department of Transportation.
“This will just add to it,” Woodson said of the new hotel’s impact on what has become “a lively corridor.”
Woodson noted that the county’s tourism efforts also will be enhanced with increased revenues from the hotel occupancy tax.