Millsboro’s higher height lands Avid Hotel interest

Conceptual rendering of a proposed Avid Hotel in Millsboro’s Peninsula Crossing along U.S. 113.

MILLSBORO – Last November, the town of Millsboro raised the roof with a zoning change approval in the highway commercial district that increased allowable maximum building height from 35 feet to 60 feet exclusively for hotels.

The town’s hopes of attracting major hotel interest along DuPont Boulevard has drawn a pitch for an Avid Hotel – a relatively new midscale brand of the InterContinental Hotels Group, which is the parent company of Holiday Inn and Holiday Inn Express.

In a May 7 presentation before town council punctuated by a request for parcel partitioning, Pennoni Associates planner Mark Davidson unveiled conceptual plans for a four-story, 79-room Avid Hotel.

“Is this pretty much a done deal, Mark?” Millsboro Mayor John Thoroughgood inquired.

“They have a letter of intent, Avid does with the landowners. We’re moving through the process right now,” said Mr. Davidson.

Noting plans at present are basically conceptual and have not yet reached preliminary site plan stage, Millsboro Town Manager Sheldon Hudson said it is nonetheless exciting news.

“What is exciting about this from the town’s perspective is it’s the first chain hotel in the town,” said Mr. Hudson. “The second point is they are the first hotel to benefit from the revised ordinance, which allows hotels that are up to 60 feet in height versus the old 35.”

The proposed hotel location would be behind Peninsula Regional Medical Center’s Delmarva Health Pavilion off Commerce Drive. Hotel access from U.S. 113 would be Town Center Boulevard to Commerce Drive, which runs the length of Peninsula Crossing. Handy Road is west of the proposed hotel location.

Linked to Pennoni’s presentation was the hotel developer’s request for partitioning of two separate parcels to create an “ideal” parcel size.

“The first step is to reduce the parcel size down in order to meet the requirements for an Avid, the parcel that they would like to have for the hotel,” said Mr. Davidson.

Approximate hotel height would be 50 feet.

“Because of the elevator shaft and some of the features that Avid would like to see on some of their architectural requirements for the building, it pushes it up a little bit higher for a four-story,” said Mr. Davidson.

The hotel facility would include an outdoor pool, Mr. Davidson said.

Plans are to soon start submitting applications and a possible request to the town’s board of adjustment regarding signage, Mr. Davidson said.

Preliminary site plan submission may soon be forthcoming, possibly next month.

News Editor Glenn Rolfe can be reached at grolfe@newszap.com

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