Owners of the Lensic theater complex in downtown Santa Fe recently revived efforts to develop a multistory building on what is now a parking lot but already have canceled a public meeting that had been scheduled for next week to discuss their latest plans.
G.E. Senlic, LLC, a subsidiary of Greer Enterprises, which owns the entire block on West San Francisco Street between Sandoval Street and Burro Alley, including the Lensic Performing Arts Center, last month filed a proposal for a four-story, 65-room hotel with underground parking.
Friday morning, Joseph Karnes, an attorney representing G.E. Senlic, sent an email to the city of Santa Fe saying, “Our client has requested that the meeting for next Thursday be rescheduled. The meeting may be scheduled for a later date.”
Karnes did not respond to a request for comment Friday. Alexis Girard, president of Greer Enterprises, also did not respond to a request for comment.
A city Land Use Department official said Friday that cancellation of the Early Neighborhood Notification meeting, which is part of a process to solicit community input prior to filing a formal application for development approval, effectively brings the proposal back to square one.
“They pulled everything, so everything is changing now,” said Dan Esquibel, a senior land use planner with the city.
He said he doesn’t know why the company decided to cancel the meeting.
The concept of putting a hotel on the 1-acre tract across Sandoval Street from the 219-room Eldorado Hotel & Spa was first raised in 1999. However, Greer Enterprises later submitted a new design for a retail and condominium project called The Villas at the Lensic, which won city approval in 2008. That four-story structure would have had roughly 48,000 square feet, also with underground parking, but never materialized.
At the time, some raised concerns about how the development would impact traffic and whether it should include affordable housing units along with the proposed luxury dwellings.
Instead, the developers last month proposed a 65-room hotel on the site.
A blueprint for the proposed hotel, filed with the city on Feb. 8, included a restaurant, bar, library, fitness studio and business center on the hotel’s ground floor, with the lobby entrance on Sandoval Street.
The application stated the building would be 49 feet tall with the same scale and décor as the 2008 project, which had been designed in a Spanish Baroque style to conform with city code and harmonize with the rest of the block. It also said the hotel would create permanent and part-time jobs and help boost the downtown economy, but would not provide new housing.
Development plans for the site require approval from the city Planning Commission and the Historic Districts Review Board before reaching the City Council.
Contact Rebecca Moss at 505-986-3011 or firstname.lastname@example.org.