Riverside hears appeals on long-planned downtown hotel project

Opponents argue eight-story, dual-branded establishment would obscure public view of historic church

(City of Riverside / Greens Development)
(City of Riverside / Greens Development)

The Riverside City Council on Tuesday is set to hear dueling appeals related to a proposed 226-key hotel in its downtown historic district.

There are appeals for both the Riverside Planning Commission’s 8-1 approval and the city’s Cultural Heritage Board’s 4-4 deadlock over the eight-story project, according to the Press-Enterprise.

A group called the Supporters Alliance for Environmental Responsibility appealed the planning commission’s decision and wants the project struck down.

The developer, Irvine-based Greens Development, appealed the Cultural Heritage Board’s decision and wants the project approved.

Both approvals are needed. The city council could take up the final review of the project if the planning commission appeal is denied and the Cultural Heritage Board appeal is successful and the board approves the project.

The hotel would rise at 3420-3482 Mission Inn Avenue, across the street from the First Congregational Church.

The church’s 114-foot-tall bell tower is a local landmark in the Inland Empire city, and preservationists argue the 93-foot-tall hotel would obscure the public’s view of the bell tower. Some church members have expressed similar views.

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(City of Riverside / Greens Development)

(City of Riverside / Greens Development)

Greens Development tweaked the project in response to those complaints, expanding the roof deck and moving some guest rooms. The roof-deck would be open to the public.

The hotel would incorporate a former fire station building and would be branded as both the AC Hotel by Marriott and the Residence Inn by Marriott.

Greens Development estimated in April, when the planning commission approved the project, that it could open for guests by 2024. Greens Development Managing Principal Atman Kadakia said at the time that the firm had been working on the project for four years.

Greens Development has built two Hamptons Inn hotels in the area — one in downtown Riverside and another near March Air Reserve Base, according to the Press-Telegram.

[The Press-Enterprise] — Dennis Lynch