More approval may be needed for new Hampton hotel to proceed

HAMPTON, Va, (WAVY) – 10 On Your Side is learning more about the plans for a $12.5 million hotel in the Peninsula Town Center.

On March 22, city council voted to allow developers to change the space of the old Macy’s into a hotel.

However, according to a spokeswoman, if the hotel includes what the city considers extended stay, the developers have to get new approval.

A WAVY crew captured demolition crews working on the building Wednesday.

“They are considering the Element brand, which is a Marriott brand, and it’s a little targeted toward millennials. It’s a healthier lifestyle, a greener lifestyle, a lot of natural light so it would be something different,” City of Hampton spokeswoman Robin McCormick said of the plans.

McCormick told 10 On Your Side developers applied for a use permit to build in February. Last week, city council voted to approve it to fulfill a need.

“The city is in favor of hotels, especially in the Coliseum Central area. We have a world-class convention center and we’re limited on bringing groups in because we don’t quite have enough hotel rooms that a convention quality,” she said.

City council also approved a $1.2 million incentive to be given when the hotel opens. The city hopes the state will also grant funding.

There is no formal site plan yet for the hotel, but McCormick explained if plans proceed there may be a need for developers to get another approval.

“The Elements hotel brand includes a full kitchen so under the city’s zoning ordinance that means it’s an extended stay not just a hotel. So if they continue with that brand they will need to come back to planning commission and city council asking for an extended stay permit,” she said.

As plans get ironed out, some residents have already taken to social media in opposition. One can read dozens of comments on the city’s Facebook page:

“Why not just upgrade the ones needing upgrade and build something else useful/educational, etc for families/kids?” one person wrote.

“They could put so much cool stuff there but instead another hotel…”

Another person wrote, “What a waste of space that will be…a hotel is not an attraction and that is what the place needs.”

In response to those comments, McCormick says the hotel could lead to other attractions.

“Hampton’s a small city compared to Norfolk or Virginia beach so for us to get some of those family friendly attractions that they want we need more people shopping and spending money here and out tourists and our visitors can help bring the kinds of attractions that those people want to see,” she said.

There will still be several months before any final decision is made.

10 On Your Side contacted the owners of the property for our story but have not yet heard from the company.