UNION, NJ — Plans to replace the aging Clinton Manor Hotel and Banquet Hall on westbound U.S. Route 22 with a Courtyard by Marriott hotel and conference center were unanimously approved at the local Zoning Board meeting on May 22.
The Marriott will have more than 150 rooms, an outdoor pool, fitness center and conference room space. A four-story parking garage will also be built on the property, with more than 360 parking spaces.
Located at 2735 Route 22 West, the site borders Smithfield Park on one side and Open Road Subaru on the other, and the new construction will feature a “skybridge” connecting the hotel to the banquet hall.
Lisa Lomelo, an attorney representing Bapu Corporation, the developer, told the board that all three of the current buildings on the property will be razed before the new construction.
The developer will remove some asphalted areas and add various shrubs and plants to reduce the impervious coverage on the site from almost 100 percent to about 73 percent, according to Anthony Albino, the developer’s site engineer.
Traffic engineer John Corak said the proposed facility will increase traffic only slightly in the area, considering the project is very similar to the Clinton Manor.
The banquet hall will be used for corporate events as well as weddings and parties.
Akash Patel, of Bapu Corporation, told the Zoning Board that his company will be hiring a third-party hotel management company, Extreme Hospitality, to run both the hotel and banquet hall. He added that his father, Harshad Patel, bought the Clinton Manor property with his brothers in the 1990s and has since passed his company on to him and his brother.
The Marriott should take about 24 months to fully construct, according to Patel.
“This new facility will revitalize what is already a current use,” Lomelo said to the board. “We believe that it will be a good addition to the community.”
Several board members agreed with Lomelo, saying that the new construction will be an upgrade from the current hotel.
“I think we all know that this property has been in disrepair for quite sometime and the improvements won’t have any negative impact on the property or the neighboring property owners,” board member Gary Ciampi said.
“This will be good for the community,” board member Henry Wiley said. “It’s going to replace something that has been an eyesore for a while now.”
The local Planning Board unanimously approved site plans at its March 28 meeting to allow for the construction of another Marriott hotel along U.S. Route 22. The approved plans will turn a 6.5-acre property along Route 22 East, which includes the Garden State Motor Lodge and Chuck E. Cheese, into one with a Wawa, Fairfield Inn and a fast food restaurant.
The two hotels will be a little more than 3 miles from each other on different sides of Route 22.
The Fairfield Inn will offer approximately 100 suites, a conference room and fitness center, but plans for an outdoor pool were removed from the site plan at the meeting in order to add eight more parking spaces.
Mayor Michele Delisfort mentioned both projects at the Jan. 1 reorganization meeting, stating that the Township Committee is prepared to take “aggressive actions to ensure outcomes” of these projects.
“I truly look forward to the completion of this initiative. It’s been an eyesore in our community for decades. Today, it’s an investment that will enhance the Township of Union as well as manifest additional economic growth along one of our commercial corridors,” she said in a message posted on the township’s official Facebook page on May 23.