The Dublin City Council last week took another step toward building a 138-room Cambria chain hotel for business travelers at an entrance to the city’s downtown.

The council unanimously approved one necessary minor permit in relation to parking, a site development review and a Community Benefits Agreement (CBA) with local developer Jerry Hunt at its virtual June 2 meeting. Part of the project will include a $200,000 “Welcome to Dublin” monument that will beautify an entryway to the city's downtown at Dublin Boulevard and San Ramon Road.

In approving permits for the hotel at 7950 Dublin Boulevard, the council also unanimously voted to deny appeals by two groups, which objected to an April 28 Planning Commission approval of the hotel.

The Laborers International Union of North America (LIUNA) and the West Dublin Alliance, a homeowners group, contended that an environmental impact report (EIR) on the project conducted in 2011 was insufficient. Building regulations now have tighter standards for such things as permissible formaldehyde in the walls of rooms. Formaldehyde poses an increased cancer threat to guests and staff of the hotel, said an attorney for LIUNA.

However, city staff said the EIR from 2011 was adequate, because it was part of the Urban Specific Plan for Downtown Dublin.

The CBA estimates the hotel will have a 75% average daily occupancy rate, add 50 full-time jobs, and contribute $450,000 annually to the city’s General Fund through its Transient Occupancy Tax, which is computed on the number of hotel guests.

Hunt added that although some hotel chains shied away from developing the site because of their perception of the market for future travel during the COVID-19 pandemic, Cambria showed no such worries.

The project is located within Dublin’s Transit Oriented Development (TOD) zoning, close to the West Dublin BART station. Business travelers will benefit from the nearby BART station, because they can ride the system throughout the Bay Area.

The hotel guests can stimulate creation of other downtown businesses, such as restaurants and shops, which can help achieve a vibrant mood in the downtown and bring in more tax revenue. The hotel will also feature venues for business conferences. A building commencement date remains undecided at this time.