Construction could start soon on a four-story, 125-room hotel at 6650 Montezuma Road, six long blocks east of San Diego State University.
Not everyone is all that happy about the project, especially the people at the College-Rolando Library.
The San Diego City Council approved the plan at the end of August, contingent on whether or not enough parking places could be provided for the library, which needs more parking than it currently has.
Jeannette Temple of the Atlantis Group planning consultants helped guide the building permit application through the process.
“The council approved the building permit, and it was filed last week. What still has to be decided by the council is the parking issue, since the library and the hotel will sit right next to each other,” she said. “That process will go before the council’s land use and planning committee the first week in October, and go to the full council maybe a week later.”
Kathy McNamara is a board member of the Friends of the College Rolando Friends of the Library group.
“We’re not totally happy about the approval, but it’s better than what was being talked about before — a bunch of small apartments on that lot,” she said. “If there’s a good part of it, the developer is at least willing to come to some sort of a deal giving us, or at least renting us, more parking and access than we have now.
“We still have some concerns about where that parking might be. It might depend on where the developer wants to place the front of the hotel,” McNamara continued. “We don’t want to have to walk all the way across the whole parking lot to get to the library — we have many senior citizens who come to the library regularly.”
Developer Shahin Edalatdju is planning to build the hotel as a Hampton Inn, which is a part of the Hilton hotel empire. But he apparently plans to run the hotel himself — or at least keep it in the family. We are told he currently has a son who’s studying hotel administration and hospitality in college, and will probably run the hotel himself.
We’ll see what happens with the parking issue, but Jeannette Temple says it shouldn’t be a big problem.
No one will start shoveling dirt on the site next week — but it probably won’t be long before construction begins.
—Doug Curlee is longtime San Diego journalist in both print and television.