|By Christian Trejbal, The Bulletin, Bend, Ore.|
Knight Ridder/Tribune Business News
Jul. 22, 2005 - Downtown Bend could feature a seven-story hotel in a year if the city approves an application from Oxford Suites to build Hotel O on Minnesota Avenue across the street from the old firehouse.
The first floor of the proposed hotel would house the lobby, a restaurant and lounge, and 1,000 to 1,500 square feet of retail space, according to Curt Baney, president of Baney Corp., which is overseeing development of the hotel for Oxford Suites.
The upper floors would house 57 suites with a swimming pool on the sixth floor, according to the application to the city. Suites would be 450 square feet and larger. The building also would have a basement containing a conference center, athletic center and hotel laundry.
In terms of total rooms, Hotel O would be the second- largest hotel in downtown Bend behind the three-story, 117-room Phoenix Inn Suites.
The city must approve the application through its design review process before construction can begin. Baney said it will take a year to build the hotel once approval is granted.
Bend-based Oxford Suites has about 20 hotel properties either open or in development in Oregon, Washington, Idaho and California. In Oregon, the company now operates two hotels in Portland, two in Hermiston and one in Pendleton.
Baney anticipates Hotel O differing a bit from the company's other hotels.
"It'll have a little higher leisure mix than our profile for the rest of the company, probably 70-30 (percentage of business to leisure)," he said. "This hotel will also be a little higher end than the rest of our chain. The level of service will be greater. We'll be offering bell service and other things you'd find at a luxury hotel. We think that's where the market is in downtown Bend."
Baney said Hotel O would be the company's first high- end, luxury hotel.
The building would stand 70 feet tall, the maximum allowed in that portion of downtown under new height standards the City Council recently adopted. Elevator shafts and stair enclosures would rise above the roofline, but a mechanical equipment screen with a maximum height of 10 feet above the roof parapet would conceal them from street view.
Jim Landin of GGL Architecture in Bend designed the 56,330-square-foot hotel. The proposed Minnesota facade is articulated into two smaller masses at the street to give the illusion of two four-story brick buildings, according to the application.
The design of the building and material selection is meant to recall the historic character of downtown Bend.
It incorporates brick columns with concrete bases, storefronts with awnings and canopies, small windows at the second and third floor, and a detailed brick entablature and cornice on the fourth floor.
Stucco and painted steel decks are proposed for the fifth, sixth and seventh floors.
Parking for the hotel would be in the city's parking garage, which is now under construction next door. The company would pay a predetermined rate for spaces in the garage, but some details remain to be worked out.
"We likely will not set aside specific spaces for them (in the garage), but that's not resolved yet," said John Russell, the city's redevelopment director. "We'll have to negotiate a detailed agreement."
Russell does not anticipate any problems resolving parking details and looks forward to the hotel opening.
"It's going to be a great addition to the downtown," he said. "We're excited about having a quality hotel like that."
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