|By Mike Carrels, Muskogee Phoenix,
Okla.McClatchy-Tribune Regional News
Feb. 19, 2012--Concrete will be poured within two weeks on a hotel planned on 32nd Street, said the developer spearheading the project.
The Muskogee City Council earlier this week approved a variance requested by Vipul Patel that he be exempt from a city ordinance that requires streets that abut property being developed to be installed.
Patel had originally requested to vacate Fondulac Street, but that would have landlocked some plots to the west of the development, which is against city ordinance, Muskogee Planning Director Gary Garvin said.
"Fondulac Street does not end, and there is platted right-of-way for it," Garvin said. "(Patel) requested a variance that would exempt him from putting in the street."
Garvin said the main reason why the variance request was approved was because there is an existing creek that runs through the right-of-way that handles "a lot" of stormwater runoff.
Patel agreed to make improvements to the creek. Garvin said the city is requiring Patel to put concrete in the bottom of the creek and to make the creek come in at a better angle.
"Trying to put a street in and address that drainage would have been very difficult and very expensive," Garvin said. "It was good for the city and good for the developer."
Patel plans two hotels adjacent to each other. Ground work on the Muskogee Inn Suites, a $1.3 million project which will feature 30 rooms -- four suites, 13 rooms with king-size beds and another 13 with double queen-size beds -- has started.
Work on the $4.8 million La Quinta Inn project, which will add another 69 rooms to Muskogee's nearly 980 existing hotel and motel rooms, will soon follow.
Patel said work on the waterline to the property is complete.
"Once we pour the slab, we would know the opening," Patel said.
Reach Mike Carrels at (918) 684-2922 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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