Early reaction to Davis conference center

So far, growth-averse Davis seems to be supporting plans by longtime local hotelier Ashok Patel to build a 120-room Embassy Suites hotel just south of downtown.

Patel submitted plans to the city of Davis last week, on a project he has been refining for a decade.

Patel has been working on the project with the city for at least two years, said Davis Mayor Joe Krovoza.

The hotel would be a short walk to the University of California Davis, as well as to a new development proposed on the south end of the university campus.

A conference center of nearly 15,000 square feet and a 3,000-square-foot restaurant are are part of the project, as is a 119-car, two-story parking garage.

Krovoza pointed out that Davis is “under capacity to handle events.” That means some events the city could host end up in Sacramento or leave the region entirely.

The size, scope and design of the hotel will be discussed publicly by the city in the coming months. In the politically active city, that could make for some lively discussions.

The hotel market in Davis can likely absorb the new rooms with ease, said Reed Youmans, owner of the 122-room Hallmark Inn, the largest hotel in Davis. He points out that the new hotel represents only a net gain of less than 80 rooms.

The new hotel would be built at the current site of Patel’s 43-room University Inn and Suites Hotel at 1111 Richards Blvd.

The hotel, planned at seven stories high, would become the tallest building in Davis. The project is estimated to cost $18 to $20 million, Patel said.

Krovoza said he would like the hotel’s restaurant to reflect the Davis community with references to the Davis farmers market, agricultural lineage and the farm-to-fork tradition in Davis.

The project was submitted to the city March 4. The hotel requires a conditional-use permit, as well as a zoning amendment, general plan amendment, specific plan amendment and design review.

“Mark Anderson covers technology, banking and finance, medtech and biotech, venture capital, energy, mining, hotels, restaurants and tourism for the Sacramento Business Journal.”