Last Call: Proposed Holiday Inn Looms Large

By: Contributor
26 June, 2017

By Lawrence Baker

If you think you know what the Holiday Inn Express will look like when it’s built, think again. It will be massive as this picture shows.


The architectural rendering given to the Taos News and published several times is misleading. That view, provided by the developer, Jay Batra, and his architect, Taf Hussain, is a perspective drawn from 20 feet off the ground and not from street level.
A local architect said that architects will frequently draw a building from a different perspective in order to minimize the visual bulk of the building. A photograph of the Hampton Inn next door, taken from the same angle as the rendering, is superimposed on the rendering to show relative size.


The Holiday Inn Express will loom even larger than shown here because it faces Paseo Pueblo del Sur while the Hampton Inn is turned sideways to the street. The building will also block the views of the eastern mountains from the west and sunset views from the east.


The superimposition does not show how much fill the Holiday Inn Express building will sit on nor how far above street level the building will actually be. The ordinance states the 48-foot height is measured from the “patio,” an unknown base point. In this case, the “patio” could be more than six feet above street level as is the County Courthouse. Also, because the height is measured to the top of the roof deck, excluding the parapets, which could conceivably be 7-10 feet tall or more, the total visual height of the building cannot be determined.


Justifying the building by saying it will only be 48 feet is disingenuous at best because it could end up being 60 – 70 or more feet tall. That is twice the height of the Hampton Inn and almost every other building in town.


Saying that the Holiday Inn express developers will not build less than 4 stories is also disingenuous. So far in 2017, a 3-story Holiday Inn Express will be built in Alliance, NE, and one in Bordentown, NJ has already been built. In 2016, two were built: Chadron, NE and Tonawanda, NY. The latter was originally to be 4 stories but neighbors were concerned about the height and the developer agreed to 3 stories. In 2015 and 2014, 3-story Holiday Inn Expresses were built in LaPorte, IN and Coldwater, MI.


On June 27, 2017, at 3 P.M. the Town Council will hold a hearing to vote on the Holiday Inn Express 4-story plan, already signed off on by the Planning & Zoning Commission. Be there.

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