Roanoke Planning Commission approves rezoning for new hotel

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ROANOKE, Va. (WDBJ7) The plan to build a new hotel near the Berglund Center cleared a major hurdle Monday.

On a unanimous vote, members of the Roanoke City Planning Commission approved a rezoning request for the project.

A busy stretch of Orange Avenue is ripe for renewal, and with the Berglund Center nearby, the developers say there's a demand for additional hotel rooms in the area.

The proposal to replace the Rodeway Inn with a brand new Holiday Inn Express brought a positive reaction from the public and from the Planning Commission.

Chris Craft is President of the Wildwood Civic League.

"This is a major project for the city," Craft told members of the Planning Commission. "It would bring in more tourism. It will help out in every way."

Lora Katz is a member of the Planning Commission.

"I think all of us, in our work session when we reviewed this, were excited to see the positive change on that corner," Katz said during the meeting Monday afternoon.

A new Starbucks recently opened nearby.

And the developers of the hotel say they are excited to be part of the improvements in that area, " to have a brighter future for that block and the city, said developer Damini Patel, "and just to have a nicer hotel there."

The Patels also own the Holiday Inn Express on the other side of I-581. That hotel will be re-branded.

The Planning Commission gave its unanimous approval to the rezoning request. Now it goes to city council.