Applicant: Proposed hotel would be a Hilton


Afirm proposing to build a new hotel made its case to the South Brunswick Zoning Board for the third time on Oct. 4.

Hotel Investors hopes to build a fivestory, 116-room establishment on the South Brunswick-Monroe border off Interchange Plaza. The Monroe Zoning Board approved the plan in 2006.

The firm recently acquired a brand, Hilton Homewood Suites, and used last week’s meeting to focus on a feasibility report that was requested in previous gatherings.

Tom Lorenzo, the senior director of franchise development for the northeast region of Hilton Hotels, spoke before the board on the promise a Hilton hotel could hold.

“There is a national average occupancy of 75.8 percent, and this location is likely to meet the national average after a wrap-up period of about 12 to 18 months,” Lorenzo said.

He explained that there is a premium on this location because of its proximity to New Jersey Turnpike Exit 8A.

However, board Chairman Martin Hammer expressed concern that this hotel may simply take away business from other hotels.

“The feasibility report does not demonstrate we have a need for additional hotel rooms,” Hammer said. “Hotels in this area are not terribly busy, which is not an indication that hotels are so needed.”

Lorenzo disagreed.

“There is some growing demand in the market,” Lorenzo said. “It won’t strictly be taking business from other hotels.”

Other problems that were addressed and must be looked into further at future meetings are the parking lot coverage, stormwater management, and meeting all township zoning standards.

The board is scheduled to continue hearings on the application on Nov. 15.