Firestone auto makes bid for vacant Days Inn on Richmond Rd

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The vacant Days Inn, as seen from Richmond Road. (Andrew Harris/WYDaily)
The site of the former Days Inn, as seen from Richmond Road. (Andrew Harris/WYDaily)

When Williamsburg officials said they were looking for a tune up after issuing funds to demolish a former Days Inn, they could have meant it literally.

A Firestone auto center is vying for the site of the Richmond Road hotel, which is slated for demolition through a city redevelopment program, according to an application submitted to the Williamsburg Planning Commission Wednesday.

In February, the Williamsburg’s Economic Development Authority voted unanimously to approve a demolition grant application submitted by the owners of the former Days Inn, Ratnam Patel and RVP Associates LLC, with the goal of redeveloping the property.

“We want to see aging properties that have great retail and business potential on main business corridors see a renovation and a new life,” the city’s Economic Development Chair Adam Steely said following the vote. “If we get the lot cleared and that entices someone to build a thriving business on Richmond Road, that generates retail and meals tax for decades to come, it’s a no-brainer decision.”

This week, Pavilion Development Company, based in Charlotte, N.C., filed paperwork to request a special use permit from the city to allow a “motor vehicle service establishment” on the property. According to the request, Pavilion will develop and construct the building and lease the facility to Firestone.

The Days Inn has occupied the 1.22 acre plot at 1900 Richmond Road since 1964. Sandwiched between Red Lobster and the Hampton Inn and Suites, the hotel ceased operation four years ago and has been vacant since.

“The message we continually heard from the many commercial brokers and industry professionals was that a vacant pad would find greater interest thus leading ultimately to redevelopment,” Patel wrote in his application for the demolition grant.

If the city approves a permit, Pavilion plans to purchase and subdivide the property, leasing part of it to firestone to open a 7,700 square foot facility, the application stated. The developer anticipates 12 to 15 employees will be hired by Firestone once the auto shop opens.

A public hearing on the application is scheduled for the regular Planning Commission meeting on May 17.

WYDaily archives were used in this article.