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Revised plans released for Camino del Rio hotel

Hotel may be shorter, include cafe, public art
An architectural rendering of a proposed 86-room hotel along Camino del Rio.

An 86-room hotel along Camino del Rio may be shorter than originally planned with a seasonal cafe facing the Animas River.

At the first public presentation on the three-story hotel in January, Design Review Board members asked the developer to hide upper stories from the view of pedestrians on the Animas River Trail, and a recently revised plan shows those changes were made.

“It really did take into account some of the design comments,” said city planner Scott Shine.

The brand of the hotel, which would replace 12 businesses at 1111 Camino del Rio next to Natural Grocers, has not been released, but revised plans were recently posted ahead of a meeting Wednesday.

The new plan shows two-stories facing the river and taller portions of the building closer to Camino del Rio.

The board members were concerned that four-stories, including the underground garage, would be visible to those walking on a new extension of the Animas River Trail.

The developer agreed to build the extension of the trail from Iris Park Bridge to the hotel. It is proposed to run adjacent to the hotel’s patio, which is planned to be open to the public, and concrete pads are proposed in this area where the city could install public art.

The seasonal cafe will face the river as well.

“We encouraged them to have a better interface with the river,” Shine said.

At its tallest point, the building is proposed to be 45-feet instead of 53-feet, 6-inches tall.

The height is within city regulations and the building will not require a variance anymore.

The city also would require public access along the proposed driveway from Camino del Rio to the parking garage, located behind the building.

The driveway would have access to the Natural Grocers lot, and future public access would be useful if the Natural Grocers site is redeveloped because the driveway could serve an underground parking lot.

“That connection would allow a mixed-use corridor to take shape,” Shine said.

With this public-access agreement about 37.8 percent of the 1.92 acre site will be public use. This includes the river trail, river bank and a new sidewalk along Camino del Rio, Shine said.

To help control traffic, a median is planned in front of the hotel on Camino del Rio.

It will help direct pedestrians to crosswalks at 12th and Ninth streets, he said.

The tenants of 1111 Camino del Rio would be displaced by the project, but the landlord has released them from their leases to move elsewhere.

The project must be approved by the Design Review Board and the Durango Planning Commission. Only if the commission rejects the proposal would Durango City Council review it.

The Design Review Board meeting will be at 5:30 p.m. Wednesday at City Hall, 949 East Second Ave.

mshinn@durangoherald.com

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