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Hotel Planned for City's South

March 20, 2008
2/27/2008 Hotel planned for city’s south Hampton Inn Suites part of 29-acre commercial development By Chris Outcalt Colorado Hometown Newspapers Construction of a 98-room Hampton Inn Suites integrated with retail shops, office space and a restaurant with roof-top seating situated north of Exempla Good Samaritan Medical Center could begin in March, according to the developer. Plans for the hotel — which include an adjacent dual-level parking lot — are part of a 29-acre parcel of land directly north of the hospital that Illinois-based Raufesien Development has slated for commercial use. The plans have received conditional approval from the Lafayette Planning Commission. “We’re getting a very solid response,” said Todd Raufesien, of Raufesien Development. Raufesien said the company has signed two contracts and is reviewing five others that would bring stores to what it’s calling the SoLa development. Aside from the hotel, he declined to identify any other stores, citing a need to need to confer with the retailers first. The intent is to create a main street type feel, emphasizing a strong pedestrian experience, according to the developer. In addition to the hotel, according to the developers Web site, it plans to include a grocery store and bookstore at SoLa. “I’d say we’re about halfway there, commercially,” he said. Raufesien said he hopes to begin moving dirt on the site — which still requires a final nod from the city council — towards the end of March. The developer has also set aside 30 acres for high-density residential property — which he said they’ve contracted out — and another 23 acres for institutional development at the same location, but no plans have been submitted for either spot. The entire 82-acre parcel was originally presented as 40 acres of mixed-use commercial development and 42 acres for high density residential development. In October, the planning commission approved an amendment that allowed the developer to divide the land differently. According to Lafayette Planning Director Phillip Patterson, institutional development is defined as non-retail or non-commercial, such as a church or school. The developer has expressed interest in using the space for assisted living. Within the next three years, according to a document listed on the developers Web site, the entire parcel will include 300 residential units and “significant” assisted senior living residences.