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Public hearing scheduled Tuesday for University Inn project


Tim Pratt



The Starkville planning and zoning commission will hold a public hearing next week on the proposed redevelopment of the former University Inn.  


Tabor Management LLC wants to convert the rear two buildings in the three-building complex into condominiums. The structures, located at 703 Spring St., are zoned C-2 general business, but multi-family residential units are allowed as a conditional use. For a conditional use, the city approves uses which typically aren''t found in a zoning district, but attaches conditions which must be met by the developer.  


Developer Larry Tabor wants to convert 100 rooms in the rear two buildings into 50 condominium units, which will be dubbed University Club Condominiums. Every two hotel rooms would be renovated and converted into one condominium, Tabor said. Each condo also would be outfitted with a kitchen and appliances, like a washer and dryer, he said. 


Tabor plans to market the condos to Mississippi State University alumni. He is not yet sure what will happen to the front University Inn building, which houses the lobby, kitchen, banquet room and 20 guest rooms. According to Tabor, "other parties" have shown an interest in putting a new hotel and restaurant in the 20,000-square-foot space.  


But the city first must approve the project as a conditional use in a C-2 general business district before Tabor can move forward with his plans.  


The Starkville Board of Aldermen this month voted to send the conditional use request back to the city''s planning and zoning commission due to deficiencies in the application and incorrect advertising. The planning and zoning commission this spring already approved the conditional use application, but the Board of Aldermen was leery to approve the request due to the application deficiencies and incorrect advertising.  


Tabor hopes with correct advertising and a complete application, the planning and zoning commission and Board of Aldermen will approve the conditional use request.  


A planning consultant for the CottonMill Marketplace project, proposed on land bordering The University Inn, spoke out against Tabor''s University Club Condominiums project at the June 1 Board of Aldermen meeting, citing the application deficiencies and lack of proper notification to neighboring property owners. 


Tabor has said repeatedly that University Club Condominiums would complement the CottonMill Marketplace project, even though CottonMill developers also included condominiums in their development plans.  


If the city approves University Club Condominiums this summer, Tabor hopes to open several model units by the middle of football season. He hopes construction of the 50 condominiums will be complete by the end of the year.




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