During an initial hearing on plans for a Holiday Inn Express & Suites off the Diagonal Highway, Boulder’s Planning Board advised the developer to “make it look good.”The result could be one of the nicest hotels of its kind.
The 138-room hotel recently received site and use review approval following more than 2 1/2 years of work between city planning staff and consultants for developer Jeff Lamont of Lamont Cos.
Boulder-based Studio Development Services led the effort on behalf of the developer.
“Studio Development is proud to have helped design the new hotel building and guide another exciting proposal through the city of Boulder’s complex site review process,” said Jeff Dawson, managing principal and owner of Studio Development Services. “Everyone involved understood that this wasn’t just another hotel project and that visually we had a high bar to clear. We’re thrilled that the planning board agreed with our vision.”
The three-story hotel will be developed at 3335 Diagonal Highway. Construction is expected to begin next year, following engineering technical document and building permit reviews, and take 12 to 14 months to complete.
“Because this was identified as a gateway site by the planning board, the building had to be relatively unique. The majority of the required parking had to be placed below the building, which is atypical for many business hotels. We spent a lot of time working with staff to create a site plan that didn’t have a sea of parking around the building that you see in many other hotel properties,” said Dawson.
“The planning board also required the building to be built with high-quality exterior materials, and to the Lamont Cos.’ credit, they really embraced the idea. Nearly half of the building is clad in limestone.”
Dawson said the team worked with city staff and Boulder’s Design Advisory Board “to avoid a final building design that was overly complicated, unsophisticated or chaotic in its use of color and materials. We came up with a more elegant massing approach and a material palette that would help it stand the test of time rather than look cheap, thin and temporary. This will be the nicest Holiday Inn Express & Suites in the country.”
Studio Development Services completed the exterior schematic design, while Base4 designed the interior layout. Lamont Companies Construction is the general contractor.
The Holiday Inn Express, which caters to business travelers and families, will feature extensive landscaping, a pool and spa. It will be among only a handful of hotels located near Boulder Municipal Airport and the only one, said Dawson, with “the same features that people know and expect from a brand like Holiday Inn Express. We think this will really give people a great option when they choose to come to Boulder, based on its location and for the amenities that the hotel will offer them.”
Lamont Cos., based in Aberdeen, South Dakota, has extensive experience in hotel development and construction. It owns and operates several hotels in Colorado and continues to seek opportunities here.