An 86-room hotel will replace a building on Camino del Rio, displacing businesses including the Rock Lounge and Animas Herbal Wellness Center.
The Durango Planning Commission on Monday unanimously approved the project, which was the final public vote on it.
“The developer overall really responded to all of the suggestions that city staff made,” Planning Commissioner Joe Lewandowski said.
Missouri-based Central Design Group proposed the hotel, but it has not announced what brand of hotel will move into the building next to Natural Grocers.
After meeting with the Design Review Board the developer reduced the height of the building and redesigned it so that two stories will face the Animas River instead of four.
The building will be three-stories tall, but the previous design made the building seem four-stories tall from the river because of the underground parking garage.
As part of the project, the developer also agreed to build an extension of the river trail from Iris Park Bridge to the hotel and put in a public restaurant that will face the trail.
The design of the hotel will include artistic wall panels facing Camino del Rio and two concrete pads along the river trail for art pieces.
“I think the hotel is going to be quite beautiful,” said John Bregar, the former owner of the building 1111 Camino del Rio.
To control traffic, the developer will build a median in Camino del Rio in front of the hotel, which will force traffic coming out of the hotel to turn right.
The median also is meant to discourage pedestrians from crossing Camino del Rio in front of the hotel and slow down traffic, city documents said.
“It’s going to be vastly improved from what it is now,” Lewandowski said of traffic control.
Sidewalks in front of the hotel along Camino del Rio and between Camino del Rio and the river trail also are planned. City officials expect the sidewalks will encourage pedestrians to cross at 12th Street or at 9th Street, city documents said.
The building at 1111 Camino del Rio previously housed 12 businesses and nine remain, Bregar said.
“They were forewarned and they knew it was slated for redevelopment,” he said.
The Rock Lounge, a gym, and Animas Herbal, a marijuana shop, in particular have faced challenges finding new locations, he said.
The owner of the Rock Lounge, Marcus Garcia said the building is slated for demolition on May 1 so he needs to move soon.
Bregar sold the business on Friday, but he expects to work with the property manager for the next month.