Plans to build one of the area’s largest hotels in Verona have shifted and now call for two hotels and a large banquet hall.
Developers David Reinke and KSW Construction are seeking approval to built a four-story, 136-room Hyatt Place hotel with an adjacent banquet facility that could accommodate up to 600 people.
The proposed 91,000-square-foot hotel and roughly 14,800-square-foot banquet hall make up the developers’ second plans for a hotel development along Highway 151 in southeast Verona.
Last July, they gained city approval for a 193,000-square-foot, 231-room complex that would have included a Hyatt Place, as well as a Hyatt House for guests on longer stays.
At a May 4 Plan Commission meeting, Dean Slaby of KSW Construction told city officials that the development team still intends to build a Hyatt House behind the original hotel, but at a later time.
The adjacent banquet hall would be owned independently of the hotel, but connected by a skywalk. It would have its own commercial kitchen and be able to accommodate multiple events at the same time.
Current plans call for leasing the banquet facility to Liliana’s Restaurant — a popular Cajun and creole dining spot in Fitchburg.
Kirsten Donkle, events manager for Liliana’s, told the commission that there’s demand for a facility that can accommodate weddings, luncheons and galas without the inconveniences of parking in Downtown Madison.
Slaby could not be reached Thursday, but Adam Sayre, director of planning and development for Verona, said developers have told him that separating the two hotels could expedite construction from 15 to 18 months to around nine.
Sayre said he has no concerns about the hotel portion of the project but there are concerns about the location of the banquet facility inside Liberty Business Park.
“This is kind of the edge of that commercial zone out there and everything north of there is industrial,” Sayre said.
“It’s just kind of a question of, you’ve got 500 to 600 people coming to Verona and is that really the best spot for everybody, tucking them back off next to the industrial buildings?”
Sayre would prefer the banquet facility be moved closer to the corner of Highways M and PB, where more commercial and retail development is planned.
With 352 parking spaces between the hotel and banquet hall, Sayre’s staff report also sought a more detailed parking analysis.
The original 231-room proposal would have been among the area’s largest hotels, comparable with major hotels such as the 240-room Hilton Madison, which serves Monona Terrace, and the 302-room Madison Marriott West in Middleton.
But even at 136 rooms, Hyatt Place would add to a relatively small hotel market in Verona and be a sure contender for Epic Systems’ growing demand for rooms.
Verona currently has only two hotels: a 43-room Super 8 on Horizon Drive and a 109-room Holiday Inn Express & Suites on Verona Avenue.
A 91-room Marriott Fairfield Inn & Suites is currently under construction and will likely open this fall, Sayre said.
The Plan Commission is expected to consider a conditional use permit for proposal at its July 6 meeting.