Peachtree City is going to be the site of a new hotel, thanks to a vote by the Peachtree City Council.
The site that will be home to the new Fairfield Inn and Suites, the Wisdom Pointe Retail Center, was originally developed in the mid to late 1990s and the 2.8 acre area is the last to be developed within a retail center at the intersection of State Route 74 north and Wisdom Road.
The property abuts the Woodsmill Apartments to the rear. It has an existing stormwater detention pond developed for the site as part of phase one of the retail center development as well as the buildings to the front of the property.
Originally, applicant Kasandas Properties Peachtree City LLC had wanted to construct two five-story hotels on the site, one an extended stay facility. With the planning commission members firmly rejecting that idea, Kasandas regrouped, coming back with a three story proposal for a single hotel.
According to city planner David Rast, though hotels are already permitted under the city’s general commercial zoning, which is what the property started with, a rezoning was necessary because the height of the building would be 43 feet, over the 35 foot maximum. The property owner was asking for an LUC 23 rezoning.
The extra height on the building is taken up in the facade at the forefront, with an architecturally decorative central element of a trellis design. The building is the new prototype that Fairfield is implementing.
“Without the trellis, it’s a rather nondescript building,” said Rast.
The general commercial zoning of the property could have been the site of another gas station, a storage facility or a auto lube business, according to Rast.
“While all that would be allowed in the GC zoning,” said Rast,” we don’t believe that it would be compatible with the surrounding businesses. We see the hotel as being beneficial to businesses and tournaments at Meade Field. It will have a signalized intersection. There are a lot of positives here.”
The plan, added Rast, fits in with the city’s own comprehensive and land use plans and fits in with the city’s development.
Jamie Wyatt, owner of the Wisdom Road Shell station at the retail center, asked the council approve the project.
“We think a hotel is an ideal use for this property. Developing a quality hotel will turn an overgrown lot which has been unattractive and unproductive into a well-landscaped asset to Peachtree City. The hotel will provide jobs, pay property taxes, as well as to the hotel/motel tax fund. It will also bring in dollars from outside the city.”
The hotel is planned to have 79 guest rooms, 42,000 square feet and 97 parking places, 10 of which will be for golf carts. There will be a designated area for bus parking. The developer plans to keep the 75- foot wooded buffer area to the back of the property as a natural buffer between itself and the neighborhoods of Preston Chase, Woods Mill and Fairfield. There will be access from both Highway 74 and Wisdom Road.
“In my view,” said councilmember Kim Learnard, “the alternative uses for the property could be kennels or self-storage or gas stations. If we approve this rezoning it will be for that front parapet only exceeding height requirement. This is what happened to the west side of the town. If you keep snipping and declining and I don’t want another gas station here. This is hard fought and hard won. I’m excited about this as an option.”