Escondido, CA
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City confirms end of hotel negotiations for Civic Center campus

The city of Escondido Monday confirmed an earlier report that the plans for a Courtyard by Marriott hotel on land in the Civic Center campus—which includes City Hall and the California Center for the Arts, Escondido, were deeps-sixed by the City Council in closed session last Wednesday.

The city had been in negotiations with developer Craig Clark of C.W. Clark Inc. over the possibility of locating a hotel in the city property that also includes Grape Day Park. The proposal was to building in what is now the parking lot between City Hall and the California Center for the Arts, Escondido, near Broadway and W. Valley Parkway.

Clark had proposed a 154-room, four story hotel. Negotiations went on between Clark and the city for several months.

According to city spokesman Teresa Collins, “The hotel is not consistent with the vision established for the Civic Center campus as originally approved by the voters.”

One of the considerations for putting a hotel in the Civic Center campus, she said, is that granting a hotel exclusive rights to manage operations of the publically funded conference center may warrant a public vote.

Collins added, “The City Council supports the development of an upscale hotel in the Downtown” and “The proposed location is not the right fit for the Civic Center complex, or this area of Grape Day Park.”

Collins also stated: “The City Council recognizes and appreciates its responsibility for supporting the Center for the Arts. The City Council views the CCAE facility as a primary component in Escondido’s quality of life, as well as a catalyst for economic growth.”

The city is trying to encourage the building of new hotels. It has been particularly supportive of the hotel that Stone Brewery announced last year to be built across the street from its brewery restaurant.

So far Stone has not submitted any plans to the city for their new hotel.

The other hotel the city is working on is Springhill Suites, whose developer is Raj Patel, San Bernardino Hospitality LLC. According to the city’s website: “The applicant is cleared to start construction so there is no change from the following update reported last week: Construction is expected to commence within the month.”

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