The Fess Parker DoubleTree Resort could get a new neighbor — another hotel from the Parker family. In late November, Fespar Enterprises, which is run by the late actor and winemaker’s family, submitted concept drawings for a smaller hotel to the city’s Historic Landmarks Commission (HLC), which reviewed the plans at a meeting on Wednesday.
In a statement released Wednesday, the Parker family said, “We are delighted to have submitted these materials to the HLC for their review. We look forward to working with the City toward creating a world-class hotel with exemplary architectural style that enhances the understated elegance of Santa Barbara and appeals to visitors and locals alike.”
The second hotel — which, according to the Fespar website, is still unnamed and will be “environmentally conscious” — is slotted for the corner of East Cabrillo Boulevard and South Calle César Chávez and would offer 50 to 65 rooms. The project asks for about 86,000 square feet of development, with most of that planned for two- and three-story structures and the remainder for a staff building. The plans also include 160 parking spots, with some at the new property and some across the street at the DoubleTree.
This project is considerably scaled-down from the one the city looked at in 1993, which asked for 150 rooms and 142,600 square feet of space. City staff had told Parker that he could build his second hotel, but only after giving up some land for what is now Chase Palm Park and building a 100-bed hostel in the Funk Zone. The hotel and hostel were both awarded permits in 2007, but the sour economy stalled development. City staff now say that the hostel should be up and running early next year.
Once the HLC is finished with its conceptual review of the hotel proposal, the project will require the green light from the city’s Planning Commission and then the City Council. Planner Peter Lawson, who is working on the Parkers’ proposal, said it could take anywhere from 12 to 18 months for the project to work its way through the process.
Fess Parker, who passed away in 2010 at the age of 85, opened the 360-room DoubleTree — formerly the Red Lion Inn — in 1985.