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Five more motels headed for Exit 87?
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Five new motels are in the works for the Hwy. 17 exit of I-95 in Richmond Hill.

Two of them were up for a sketch plan review during the Richmond Hill Planning and Zoning Commission meeting on May 27.

The two latest hotels are proposed by local developer Kenny Patel for a tract of land near 17 and Ponderosa Drive. Patel currently owns the Best Western, Comfort Suites and Hampton Inn off in the same immediate area. He said he does not know which hotel chains will end up at the site at this stage, but one should have around 60 rooms while the other will be around 80 rooms.

He is also proposing an adjacent restaurant on the tract. The name "Dairy Queen" was mentioned several times, but said a contract has not been signed with the chain at this time.

The P and Z Commission and Director Steve Scholar advised Patel and his engineer to get DOT approval and take a closer look at parking before coming back with a proposed site plan.

Meanwhile, Savannah developer Shaylesh Patel has already proposed a Fairfield Inn and Suites and Sleep Inn for the same area. He plans to build them right next to each other and at the intersection of Hwy. 17 and Ponderosa Road, across from KOA Campgrounds. Patel said the Fairfield will have 82 rooms while the Sleep Inn will have 67 rooms.

Shaylesh Patel’s next P and Z appearance is slated for June 9, when he is requesting preliminary approval for the building height of the proposed four-story Fairfield Inn building.

The fifth hotel is a 102-room Holiday Inn Express slated to be constructed behind the current Holiday Inn. There are no plans to destroy or alter the current Holiday Inn. Both are owned by San Patel.

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