Astoria's Historic Landmarks Commission has given the green light to a 78-room hotel to be built in Uniontown.

With a vote of five to two, the seven-member commission approved plans for a Holiday Inn Express to be constructed on a 2.2-acre site last occupied by a Tualatin Valley Builders' Supply lumber yard and store at 204 W. Marine Drive.

While commissioners Dave Fitch and Dan Harriman expressed concerns about the size and whether the four-story building would fit into the historic area near the Doughboy Monument and Wauna Federal Credit Union Building, other commissioners saw the hotel's design as appropriate and a promising asset for Astoria.

"I have to say I was pleased with the plans," said commission President David Pearson. "I like the window treatment ... overall I would say I'm in support of it."

Members of the audience, about two dozen strong, also seemed to support the proposal with a few speaking in favor and no one speaking against it.

"I think to put this lovely hotel there would be a tremendous asset to Uniontown," said Astoria resident Rae Goforth.

This hotel is one of four planned in Astoria, as developers and community leaders try to give Astoria an economic boost through a combination of the proposed conference center at the Port of Astoria and three other planned hotels. These include the 32-room Hotel Elliott, 46-room Cannery Inn and another 80-room hotel planned near the port.

Brian Dion, the former owner of the Best West Oceanview Resort in Seaside, is developing the hotel. He said he began thinking about building something in Astoria almost before he sold the resort in September.

He said there was a "lot of good movement" happening in Astoria as the city is trying to boost its economy through hotel development and he wanted to be a part of that.

"There's going to be a need for more and better hotel rooms here," he said.

The hotel plans do not need any further city approval because the site is in a C-2 zone that allows for tourist-oriented development such as restaurants and hotels.


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