Demolition of the historic Knights Inn motel on the corner of South Milton Road and West Butler Avenue began this week, and a new three-story hotel is planned to take its place.
Mike Patel, who has owned the property since 2007, said he hopes the new building will bring in more business and allow him to better compete with the myriad of other hotels that have opened in the last 11 years around town.
Despite the motel's history, Patel said he decided against simply renovating the building as they would not be able to make the improvements they wanted within the building's current footprint.
Although the demolition of the Knights Inn has already begun, they are still working with the city to acquire the construction permits. According to Ryan Smith, the project's architect, they are hoping to receive the permits in the next two weeks and construction would likely start shortly thereafter.
Construction itself is expected to last about eight months.
Smith said they wanted to be careful about the design of the building given other recent high-profile construction projects in the area.
“It’s kind of in a location where it is not really downtown but it’s on the fringe,” Smith said, and the design of the building somewhat reflects that. The building will be a mix of a traditional downtown brick look and a more modern aesthetic. Smith said he is pleased with the building’s scale, adding it is not a massive building.
Patel added he doesn’t see why anyone would be upset as the land use is not changing.
While the Knights Inn had 37 guest rooms, the new 31,778-square-foot structure will increase will increase this to 51.
Despite the small size of the parcel, the building will also include 52 parking spots for guests and four motorcycle spots. Due to this, parts of the building will hang over the parking area.
Included in the project is money to relandscape and beautify the public right-of-way that nearly surrounds the building, including the corner of Milton and Butler.
The motel began its life in the 1950s as the Spur Motel.