About two months ago, concerned citizens packed the Plaquemine Board of Selectmen’s meeting room expressing their opposition to a motel being planned for property behind the Pelican Shopette.
At last Tuesday’s meeting of the same body, no one was present to oppose it as Brad Guerin of Fusion Architecture explained and showed selectmen and Mayor Ed Reeves Jr. how those concerns had been answered.
Selectmen agreed after the changes were explained and voted 5-0-1 in favor of the hotel proposition.
“At a meeting like this one, a number of people came up and voiced their concern about the idea for a motel on this site,” Guerin said.
“I’m here to let you know that my client (Srinivas Reddy “Remi” Gavini, the owner of the Pelican Shopette) has taken all those concerns in account and we have redesigned this into a hotel,” he continued.
A PowerPoint presentation showed Gavini and Guerin had taken all of the complaints and concerns expressed in the earlier meeting into a redesign and Guerin explained how the concept had been altered.
“This shows what we had compared to what it’s been changed to,” he said. “I think you’re going to be very pleased with what changes Mr. Remi has made and what he is now looking to build on this piece of property.”
“Our original design was to do a very elongated design with open balconies that faced La. 1,” Guerin continued. The rendering presented shows the complete redesign with no balconies, no kitchenettes as originally proposed and a single entrance at the front lobby.
Two exits are provided at either end of the building, but hotel guests can only leave through those doors, the architect said, using key cards and upon returning, must come back in through the lobby.
Answering another concern brought up at the earlier meeting, the new design has no doors facing the neighborhood, but rather all the doors and the main building itself face La. 1.
“A typical hotel layout is what you’re seeing right here,” Guerin said. “On the outside, what we’re looking at is more of a traditional look with brick veneer at the bottom and siding and stucco on the top.”
“What you’re seeing now is more of what was asked for by the community and concerns from the council,” he continued.