By JAN LARSON McLAUGHLIN
BG Independent News
A new hotel is being built on the site of the defeated Victory Inn in Bowling Green.
The owner of the Victory Inn – Jamal Garmo of Michigan – is building a new Home 2 Suites by Hilton, which specializes in extended stays.
The old Victory Inn was demolished in 2015 after nearly five years of Bowling Green and Wood County Health Department officials trying to get hotel to clean up issues. The hotel, at 1630 E. Wooster St., was frequently the source of complaints about bedbugs, plumbing and electrical problems, the lack of smoke alarms and cleanliness violations.
Garmo approached the city’s Zoning Board of Appeals in 2016, since the new hotel exceeds the city’s height and story limits.
His request was for a variance to allow construction of a 107-room hotel on the eastern portion of the seven acres that previously housed Victory Inn. The proposed hotel is 65 feet tall, five feet taller than allowed, and five stories high, one story higher than allowed in B-2 general commercial zoning
The request was initially turned down.
By building upward, the 107-room hotel would have a much smaller footprint than the two-story Victory Inn which had 103 rooms, the developer said. The developer also said the smaller footprint of the taller hotel will allow for other businesses on the seven-acre site. He said the remainder of the property could possibly be “mixed use” with some retail, office and residential.
Garmo filed an appeal of the city’s decision, stating the denial was “unconstitutional, arbitrary, capricious and an unreasonable exercise of discretion.” The appeal also stated the denial posed an “unreasonable hardship” against Garmo.
In November of 2016, the city changed the zoning language to allow a hotel to have five floors, as long as the height of the building did not exceed 60 feet.