Jan. 04–A developer wants to build a boutique hotel at the corner of West 20th and Ashland streets, a property where a historic 1904 home was recently demolished.

The plan for the site includes a five-story hotel catering to visiting friends and relatives of Heights residents, according to documents filed with the city of Houston's Planning & Development Department.

The group proposing the 37-room hotel — to be called Maison Robert — is seeking permission to build the hotel's gift shop closer to W. 20th Street than what's normally allowed.

It's also asking for an off-street parking variance, explaining that not all hotel guests will have cars and are expected to walk or bike to area shops and restaurants. The plan calls for 19 parking spaces to be provided on the same parcel as the hotel and 13 spaces across Ashland Street replacing a floral shop.

Large Live Oaks along Ashland and W. 20th will be preserved and new trees will be planted, according to the variance request. The hotel will have a courtyard, swimming pool and a rooftop terrace.

The 28,000-square-foot property at 347 W. 20th traded hands in May to a group called Wood Lane Partners. The variances are on the agenda for Thursday afternoon's planning commission meeting.

Nancy Sarnoff covers commercial and residential real estate for the Houston Chronicle and the paper's two websites: Chron.com and HoustonChronicle.com. She also hosts Looped In, a weekly real estate podcast about the city's most compelling people and places.