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Oct. 11--One hotel, not two, and changes to building size or location are among the revisions an area developer has made to a plan to redevelop the Holiday Inn site at N. High Street and W. Wilson Bridge Road in Worthington.

That plan is scheduled to be considered Thursday at a meeting of the Worthington Architectural Review Board.

The Witness Group, the Lewis Center-based developer created with the merger of Alliance Hospitality and KB Hotel Group, has given the 7.5-acre project the working name Village at Worthington Square.

Witness Group CEO Ohm Patel said in a phone interview that several factors led to the company deciding to scale back the number of hotel rooms in the project from the total proposed a year ago.

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"We felt there was going to be some pushback from the community regarding parking ... concerns that the site was too dense." Patel said. "That, coupled with the market conditions and so many (hotel) rooms coming into the Polaris and Dublin markets, led to our decision."

The single hotel is tentatively planned to be a Hampton Inn & Suites with 111 rooms in four floors, compared with the 232 rooms in the Holiday Inn that's been on the site since the 1970s.

Patel said planned offices and space for restaurants and services -- which could include a fitness studio and salon or spa -- have been broken up into five single-story buildings because of the site's slope. He said the space between the buildings will allow businesses to have outdoor patios.

The project as proposed would create a new entrance to the site off Wilson Bridge Road that aligns with the entrance to the revamped Shops at Worthington Place across the street. Patel said Witness plans to pursue tax-increment financing to help pay for the infrastructure work and the relocation of the traffic light on Wilson Bridge, moving it slightly closer to High Street.

"The traffic is already a little choppy there," Patel said, "and this would create a connection between our site and the mall site."

No vote is expected at Thursday's meeting. It likely would be early 2018 at the earliest before the project could proceed.

Witness has several other properties currently under construction, including a Home2Suites hotel on Main Street in Downtown Columbus.

mrose@dispatch.com

@MarlaMRose

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