BENTONVILLE — The city’s Planning Commission on Tuesday approved plans for a new downtown hotel.
The full-scale development went 6-0 with an absent commissioner.
The freestanding hotel will be a 116,000 square foot project that will include event space, restaurant, bar, cafe, two retail spaces and 142 guest rooms. Cycling-specific amenities will include a bike valet, secure storage and a bike wash, according to a press release Monday from the 4media group.
It will be built southeast of A Street and East Central Avenue, south of the historic Benton County Courthouse. The hotel, tentatively slated to open in the summer of 2024, will be on the former site of Tucker’s Corner. The land at 200 E. Central Ave. is owned by Tucker’s Corner LLC.
Blue Crane, a development and real estate company that will manage the project, will partner with Ropeswing Hospitality for the hotel’s food and beverage operations, according to the statement. Blue Crane and Ropeswing Hospitality are affiliated with Runway Group, a Bentonville-based holding company backed by Steuart and Tom Walton.
The planned large-scale Detrola Motel development at 1400 SW I St. was also approved 6-0. The applicant is I-14, LLC, according to planning documents.
Plans show seven buildings that will contain 162 guest rooms and a building for event space for use by motel guests. Three buildings will have three floors and the other four will have one floor. The event space is also a story.
Bentonville is currently home to 24 hotels with a total of 2,209 rooms, according to Aaron Mullins, director of communications and marketing for Visit Bentonville.
Large-scale development of Convergence at the Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art has also been approved.
Convergence – a collaborative project of Scott Family Amazeum and Crystal Bridges – will be a “robust, outdoor, family-friendly play space inspired by arts, science, nature and design, inclusive for guests of all ages,” according to a 2020 press release from the museum. “The space will invite visitors to step off the path and into a park that uses the natural environment to engage the senses with interactive features and water features that mimic the Ozark landscape.”
Commissioners also approved a Schlotzsky’s at 1626 E. Centerton Blvd. and an Andy’s Frozen Custard at 1644 E. Centerton Blvd.
An amendment to the planned new unit development on Walmart’s campus also passed on Tuesday.
The amendment adds north and south conditional use permits, an electrical substation, two surface parking lots and zone 2S to the development. Zone 2S will include a hotel and visitor center, according to planning documents.
The campus is generally bounded by East Central Avenue on the north, Southeast Martin Luther King Jr. Parkway and Southeast Moberly Lane on the east, Southeast 14th Street on the south, and Southeast J Street on the west.
The commission also approved a conditional use permit for the JP specialty restaurant at 1261 and 1263 SW Regional Airport Blvd., about one block west of Southwest I Street. The area of the site is 3.79 acres. The plaintiff is JP Specialty, LLC.
The company would like to build a restaurant that includes an arcade and video games, bowling alleys, live music, and food and alcohol sales. Hours will be 9 a.m. to 11 p.m. seven days a week. Live music is not to take place after 9 p.m. Monday through Friday, according to scheduling documents.
The property will have to go through the full-scale development process, according to planning documents.
Several residents of Southwest Starry Sky Boulevard, just south of where the restaurant would be, spoke out against the proposed project, citing issues such as odors, traffic on Southwest Regional Airport Boulevard , alcohol consumption, noise and loss of property values.
The commission also approved a sidewalk waiver for the public library at 405 S. Main St.
Conditional uses approved
Other conditional use permits approved by the Bentonville Planning Commission on Tuesday include:
• The Bentonville Film Festival for temporary use at 507 SE E St.
• Bville A Street, LLC for temporary long term use (gravel parking) on Southwest A Street.
• Nslokan, LLC (Blue Sprig Pediatrics) for temporary long-term use (gravel parking lot) at 2601 N. Walton Blvd.
Source: Bentonville Planning Commission