Home News Local News Homeowners withdraw appeal for hotel zoning of former senior facility

Homeowners withdraw appeal for hotel zoning of former senior facility

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The new owner of this North Kentucky Avenue property worked out an agreement with a nearby homeowners’ group, leading to the end of a zoning appeal. (Lisa Dunlap Photo)

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Mistry says business could open by summer

A local businessman with 28 years in the hospitality industry is ready to proceed with plans to convert a former senior living facility into a hotel following the withdrawal of a zoning case appeal.

Narendra “Nick” Mistry of United Partners LLC said that he expects the 131-room hotel at the former Avamere senior living facility at 2801 N. Kentucky Ave. could open as early as the summer.

He said he is working now to determine whether the property will operate under a recognized brand name or as a “boutique” hotel of its own.

“It is a beautiful property inside,” he said. “We will spend quite a bit of money to do a complete remodel inside and outside.”

By agreement with the Quail Village Homeowners Association and the city of Roswell Planning and Zoning Commission, he also will build a 7-foot wall on the south side of his property to separate the future hotel and parking area from Quail Village residences.

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A signed Memorandum of Understanding with the homeowners’ group calls for the wall to be built by May 1 or prior to the hotel opening. Mistry also has agreed that the wall will be “aesthetically” compatible with the Quail Village properties.

The memorandum signed March 5 by Mistry and the homeowners’ group, represented by Roger K. Castillo, a New Mexico Military Institute faculty member and the president of the group, allowed for the withdrawal of the appeal of a zoning case filed Jan. 29 by the group. The appeal followed a 4-3 vote in favor of Mistry’s rezoning application on Jan. 28. The city of Roswell Planning and Zoning Department sent a March 11 letter to Mistry officially recognizing the withdrawal of the appeal.

The city Planning and Zoning stipulations and the memorandum of understanding list other provisions besides a wall. Those include the installation of security lighting and systems, the planting of a large tree at a location specified by Quail Village to give its residents added privacy, and the prohibition against semi-truck parking onsite. Mistry and the homeowners’ group also agreed to an annual meeting to resolve any other issues that might come up.

Although not in writing, both Mistry and Castillo said that Mistry will build the wall a bit further north than Mistry’s property line to give more area to the Quail Village residences. Castillo said that his group also will work with the city about getting signs erected to prohibit on-street parking along Kentucky Avenue if parking becomes a problem.

Mistry said that he is grateful about the outcome of the zoning case and expressed his appreciation to the Planning and Zoning Commission, the people who spoke in favor of his hotel plan at the zoning commission meeting, Castillo and the Quail Village group, and Father Jaroslaw Nowacki, or Father Jarek, of Assumption Catholic Church. The church and its affiliated All Saints Catholic School are located across the street on Kentucky Avenue.

Nowacki said that, after speaking with Mistry a couple of times, he agreed that a hotel is better for the area than apartments, which Mistry has said was his other option regarding the property.

Castillo said the homeowners’ group had two open meetings where all residents were invited. He explained that those in attendance came to the conclusion that the outcome of an appeal before the 10-member Roswell City Council likely would result in a vote in favor of Mistry.

“We thought the best thing to do would be to compromise with Mr. Mistry, and, I have to be honest, he has been very helpful,” Castillo said. “Everyone who did attend the meeting with the association agreed that probably the best thing we could do was to go ahead and have these things (the provisions of their agreements) attached to the zoning documents.”

The commissioners who voted in favor of Mistry’s zoning application to change to C-2, Community Commercial, explained that the current zoning, R-3 Residential, allowed for such uses as apartments and group homes. With a special permit, the property could be the site of hostels, hospitals, animal shelters and other commercial developments that could have some of the same challenges that opponents of the rezoning mentioned. Those objections included increased traffic and noise and possibly increased crime.

Mistry has operated motel properties since 1992. He said he once owned the local Super 8 Motel and still owns a Las Cruces hotel. When he met with people, he explained his view that a hotel was a safer, better choice.

“If it is an apartment next door, it is more unattended,” Mistry said. “I told him (Castillo) about it. If you make a choice of a hotel, someone is there 24/7. My expertise is not apartments. It is a motel.”

He also said that having an unused building would not help the neighborhood either.

“This thing is vacant property, and that is not good for them,” he said.

Castillo confirmed that he and other Quail Village homeowners thought that a hotel was a better option for them than the efficiency-style apartments that he thought Mistry would develop.

Mistry purchased the building and the property of about 7 acres in early 2020. The Avamere Family of Companies — now owned by the Chevalier Group based in Hong Kong — made the decision in September 2019 to close that particular senior living facility while keeping open the senior care building one block to the east on North Pennsylvania Avenue. Prior to Avamere’s management and ownership of the facility, both buildings had been the Brookdale Country Club Senior Living community.

Mistry has explained several times that he considered the closure of the senior living home a sad situation, but he wants people to know that he had nothing to do with Avamere’s decision and that he will work hard to be a good neighbor.

“I am going to do good,” he said.

Senior Writer Lisa Dunlap can be reached at 575-622-7710, ext. 351, or at reporter02@rdrnews.com.