Plans have emerged for a hotel concept in downtown Decatur that could become that rarest of development species in metro Atlanta: a sizable new building with no vehicle-parking component.

Vision Hospitality Group developers and BCA Studios architects have brought plans before city officials to build a dual-branded, seven-story hotel on three current surface parking lots at 213 Swanton Way.

The 241-room hotel would consume about half a block behind Taco Mac Decatur, between two large parking decks; one is located at 1 W. Court Square near the DeKalb County Courthouse, and the other stands just east near Inner Voice Brewing, currently used by The Task Force for Global Health. Both stand within 300 feet of the hotel site.

The half-block in question at 213 Swanton Way, just east of Decatur's Historic Square. Google Maps

The properties in question where Swanton Way meets Commerce Drive. Google Maps

Vision Hospitality aims to enter into longterm agreements with owners of those decks to use excess parking, operating an around-the-clock valet for guests who arrive by car instead of building parking into the hotel. Its two brands would be Tempo, a new lifestyle-focused flag, and Homewood Suites, Hilton’s extended-stay brand.

A food-and-beverage tenant called Bluestone Lane café would be situated at the corner of Ponce de Leon Place, opposite the brewery.

Vision Hospitality officials told the Decatur Downtown Development Authority during a recent meeting they expect many hotel guests will come to the property via MARTA or rideshare services, noting the 1 W. Court Square parking deck alone has 493 spaces, contributing to what one DDA official called a problem of excess parking downtown, as Decaturish reports.

Detailed look at the building's eastern face over Ponce de Leon Place. Vision Hospitality Group; designs, BCA Studios architecture

The floorplan breakdown for the dual-branded hotel building's ground floor. Vision Hospitality Group; designs, BCA Studios architecture

According to a resolution adopted by the DDA in support of the hotel, the Swanton Way property is currently underutilized with 57 parking spaces and three two-story buildings, all of which would be removed. The hotel project would be advantageous “for the development of trade, commerce, industry, and employment” around the DeKalb County seat, per the resolution.  

The DDA also approved three special exceptions requested by the developer: to bump up building height from 80 feet max to 82 feet, as necessitated by an elevation change; to allow 100 percent off-site parking; and to reduce street landscaping zone requirements to make way for a guest drop-off lane. Those exceptions will have to be approved by Decatur Planning Commission and Decatur City Commission before the hotel building is allowed to move forward as planned.

Plans for the valet component on the Swanton Way facade. Vision Hospitality Group; designs, BCA Studios architecture

Just a block away, plans to revitalize the core of Decatur Historic Square received unanimous approval from the city’s commission in June. Called the Decatur Town Center Plan 2.0, the initiative marks Decatur’s first new masterplan for its central downtown area since 1982.

Find more context and images for the dual-hotel proposal in the gallery above.


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