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4520 Penn Hotel Developer Changes Design

1/25/17 Update: A planned hotel was granted zoning variances and received an occupancy permit outlining 14 conditions requested by BDC and created through a community process of three public meetings. The developer has closed on the properties and is in the planning and design phases. A public community meeting will be scheduled within the next six weeks to gather comments on the design.


On March 23rd, BDC hosted a public meeting between the community and the hotel developer at the Irma Freeman Center to learn about a new hotel being proposed for 4520 Penn Avenue, currently the site of a doctor’s office and parking lots. Michael Kratsas, the hotel development representative, presented plans for a 4 story, 112 room hotel. This is the third community meeting hosted by BDC on the hotel. About 15 people attended the meeting. Mr. Kratsas presented a new design which addressed concerns from the past two meetings, including moving the garage entrance from Comrie Way to Penn Avenue.

Mr. Kratsas showed that the hotel has been extended to include a property east of 4520 Penn Avenue. The new plan for the governor’s drive allows cars to enter from the west, drop off luggage, and either exit the site or go down a ramp to the parking garage. These plans eliminate garage entrances from Comrie Way.

Here are some other changes:

  • Hotel will have 112 rooms, down from the 115 originally planned
  • Building will be set back approximately 8 ft from Comrie Way
  • First floor was reconfigured with a reduction of the storefront space between 1,800 to 800 sq. ft.
  • Pool has been moved to the east side of the second floor with windows facing Comrie Way

The community felt that this new design was an improvement, but still had concerns about guests and employees parking on surrounding streets. Also, the community asked for input on the design of the building to improve pedestrian access and add local artist work through a mural or other features. Finally, a resident immediately adjacent to the development was concerned about the garbage pick up on Comrie Way and windows from the pool overlooking homes on Comrie Way.

Attendees decided to approve the zoning variances on certain conditions to address concerns. BDC wrote a letter to the Zoning Board outlining support with conditions, which you can see here. Also, we are posing the 3/23/17 meeting presentation, meeting notes, and traffic study.