OCEANSIDE — It’s out with the old and in with the new after City Council allowed for the demolition of an existing motel and restaurant to make way for a new hotel and restaurant.
The Rodeway Inn and former Flying Bridge restaurant, the latter having been closed for more than a decade, currently sit at 1103 N. Coast Hwy.
The motel has 80 units and the former restaurant is 8,000 square feet.
At its April 24 meeting, council passed a resolution approving applications for a development plan, two conditional use permits and a regular coastal permit to demolish the existing building.
In its place will be a 117-unit hotel with a 3,531-square-foot restaurant, 1,928 square feet of events space, a pool for guests, 153 basement and surface parking stalls and landscaping.
The new hotel will be known as the Marriott Residence Inn and developers are prioritizing keeping the Flying Bridge as the restaurant’s name, according to Allan Teta of TRE Architecture, who presented the 2.5-acre project to council on behalf of its applicant, Shantu Patel.
The project to replace the existing motel and restaurant has been in the works for nearly a decade, but it’s changed over the years.
On Aug. 18, 2010, council approved a tentative map, development plan, two conditional use permits and a regular coastal permit for the demolition of the existing hotel and restaurant to build a new 127-unit hotel, 24 residential condominiums and a 7,000-square-foot restaurant.
Known as the Hyatt Place project, it had an expiration date of Aug. 18, 2016. A few days after its expiration date, council approved a two-year extension for the project.
The Downtown Advisory Committee recommended denying the project the following year, listing several concerns they had with the project.
Last spring, Patel submitted a development plan and accompanying permits to revise the original project, changing it to 117 units, eliminating the condominium component, shrinking the restaurant’s size, adding event space and designing the hotel to look more “coastal.”
According to the April 24 staff report, “staff believes that (Patel) has adequately addressed the concerns expressed by the DAC.”
A revenue and employment analysis prepared by Keyser Marston Associates found that the project will contribute an estimated $896,000 in taxes to the city’s general fund within the first stabilized year of operation. The existing motel currently only generates about $144,000 annually for the city.
Teta noted the area where the hotel and restaurant will go is a “dilapidated” area of north Oceanside that the project will “invigorate” once it’s complete. It’s also located at a gateway of the city, specifically for travelers heading south on Interstate Highway 5.
“This project is looking to be a gem of Oceanside,” he said.
According to Teta, the restaurant will hire a local chef to create a “unique, beach-themed, sustainable, local and fresh menu with a full bar.”
Its atmosphere will be “polished-casual, upscale dining” in a casual setting with a focus on the views, with expanded decks to help overlook the harbor.
Council members expressed their excitement for the project at the meeting.
“I think it’s going to be huge for our city,” Councilman Chris Rodriguez said.
Both Rodriguez and Councilwoman Esther Sanchez noted how important the project’s inclusion of event space is for the city and noted the project’s view from its location.
“I’ve spent many early evenings watching the sunset from there,” Sanchez said, recalling when she used to visit the Flying Bridge when it was open.
“You have the best view in Oceanside,” Rodriguez told the project’s developers.
Samantha Nelson covers Oceanside, Camp Pendleton and the decommissioning San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station. She earned her journalism degree from the E.W. Scripps School of Journalism at Ohio University, and has previously reported for The Athens Messenger in Athens, Ohio, and USA Today in McLean, Virginia. Follow her on Twitter: @samm1son