By Tony Wittkowski | Business Reporter | The Herald-Palladium
ST. JOSEPH — Construction is well underway for the new Fairfield Inn and Suites hotel on Red Arrow Highway.
Lincoln Township Supervisor Dick Stauffer said work began at the 6-acre site on the west side of Red Arrow about a month ago.
“They demolished the small house that was on the parcel about a month ago,” Stauffer said. “Now they are getting ready to pour some footings.”
Developers Michael Patel of St. Joseph and Sandip Patel of South Bend were able to get the site rezoned to highway commercial. The site was originally zoned commercial mixed use on the portion nearest to Red Arrow, but zoned community residential in the back portion.
The hotel is going up between the Splash-N-Dash Car Wash and Tyler Honda, at 4408 Red Arrow Highway. It will be three stories high with 87 rooms.
Jay Patel, president of SSC Construction, said they are in the process of laying down the hotel’s foundation.
“I want to say we received approval in September,” Patel said. “We were waiting on the city to give us all the zoning approvals. Right now it’s not bad (weatherwise), we are just now getting the footers down and the foundation set.”
Initially, the Patels sought a planned unit development for the hotel, but withdrew the request after learning that would not be allowed at the site.
Patel said the project should be finished in summer or fall of 2016. He said progress will depend on the severity of winter.
“We’ll get going with the full construction of the building and underground plumbing in the next week or two,” he said. “I’d like to start on the framing by the end of the year, if possible.”
The Patels own other hotels and motels in Southwest Michigan, including Comfort Suites in Stevensville, Hilton Garden Inn in Benton Township and two in Niles. SSC Construction also worked with the Patels on the Hilton Garden Inn.
The main contractor for the new hotel is SSC Construction Co. of Elkhart, Ind., which specializes in lodging facilities.
(Author’s Note: This article was originally published on Nov. 17, 2015)