|By John Gillie, The News Tribune, Tacoma,
Wash.McClatchy-Tribune Regional News
Apr. 21, 2010--A Bellingham developer is back with an upgraded plan for a Marriott hotel on Tacoma's Thea Foss Waterway.
Hollander Investments officials were stymied last year when Tacoma City Council stalled plans for the hotel, saying they weren't sufficiently upscale for the waterfront. Others raised concerns about whether the new hotel would be staffed by union workers.
Hollander Investments is slated to present its latest plans to the council's Economic Development Committee on Tuesday, said J.J. McCament, a consultant to Hollander. Representatives also are scheduling one-on-one meetings with council members.
Hollander wants the council to approve an environmental indemnity agreement for the project, which would help it move forward.
Hotel Murano owners mounted a lobbying campaign against Hollander last year. The Murano's owners claimed that Hollander had reneged on its pledge to make blocks of rooms available for meetings at the Tacoma Convention Center at another hotel, the Marriott Courtyard Tacoma Downtown, which was built across the street from the convention facility.
Hollander officials denied that claim.
The Murano also alleged that the Hollanders didn't remain neutral during a union drive to organize workers at the Marriott Courtyard as the developers had promised.
The union lost the election. The Murano is a union hotel.
Hollander has worked behind the scenes for months, and has gained approval of its latest design from the Foss Waterway Development Authority. The Tacoma Waterfront Association has also voted to support the proposal.
The City Council also has five new members since the plan stalled last year.
The initial hotel plan is part of a larger project that ultimately will include a second hotel and an office building linking the two hotels.
The Murano's owners have appealed the issuance of a shoreline development permit to Hollander for the new hotel. A hearing on that appeal is set for this summer.
Hollander has commissioned a new economic impact study of the project that says the hotel construction will generate 114 construction jobs and 259 permanent jobs once the facility opens, said McCament.
John Gillie: 253-597-8663
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