A 200-room, three-hotel complex is being planned for three parcels in the vicinity of Old Three Rivers and South Fork drives. Earlier this week, Tulare County planners gave the go-ahead to the Patel family group of Pleasanton, Calif. to seek building permits for a complex consisting of three boutique hotels, affordable housing for workers, a bar and restaurant, retail shops, and meeting space.
The proposed development is the result of two years of planning that sought to utilize vacant property in Old Three Rivers after the original proposal to use river frontage ran into environmental obstacles. Old Three Rivers derives its name from a century ago when the Britten Store and Lodge located nearby were at the intersection of the old highway where it met South Fork Drive.
Michael Washam, Resource Management Agency associate director for Tulare County, said this new project will be a win-win for the applicant and the community.
“It won’t be visible from the main highway (Sierra Drive), and it should spur some town-centered development on adjacent parcels,” Washam said.
Washam said that next month he will ask the Board of Supervisors for some TOT-based incentives to assist the developer in building a wastewater treatment facility for the hotel complex and mitigate some of the potential traffic impacts.
“It won’t cost the County anything and would be a rebate of transient occupancy tax [TOT] once the first of the three hotels is open,” Washam said.
Best-case scenario, Washam said, is that construction could start before the end of summer. Buildout of the $26 million project is expected to take two to three years.
If the project is completed, it will become the first new hotel in Three Rivers since the Holiday Inn Express (now Comfort Inn and Suites) opened in Three Rivers more than two decades ago.