Developer seeks the construction of a new hotel in a controversial proposal

Portion of the proposed project. (WINK News photo)
Portion of the proposed project. (WINK News photo)

Once an area bustling with visitors is now a vacant lot and the site of two recent stabbings. A new proposal may turn the property into a hotel, but some neighbors said, not so fast.

James Rodwell and a few of his neighbors said they do not want to see a former Topps Grocery Store turned into a two-story hotel.

“Look at all the condominiums we have,” Rodwell said. “Now, what are you going to do with a hotel there overlooking this whole parking lot here, okay.”

“We have enough traffic on this street the way it is,” Carolyn Houston said. “We don’t need anymore, so we’d like to keep it a grocery store.”

But Topps Grocery Store closed in April 2018. Since its closure, two stabbings are linked to the site. One of them was in January where a man was accused of stabbing another man. Ten days later, Deputies arrested the same suspect in the stabbing death of a library director.

Now, a developer wants to turn the property into a 40 room boutique hotel with a spa and wellness space. They also want to add a restaurant and retail space where the Liquors Wine and Beer store used to be.

The developer hopes to bring the proposal before Town Council within the next month for approval.

Mayor Tracey Gore told WINK News the proposal is a little too big for the location. But she wants public feedback on the plan.

Tourist said they love the plan.

“That would be a big thing for us because that’s what we’re doing now, walking down to a restaurant,” said Joe Niebur, who is visiting.  “We’ve been beating traffic on foot. Yeah, it would be great.”

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