The Dublin City Council has approved what city officials say is the Tri-Valley’s first five-star hotel, to be built to a height of five stories by Westin.
The council voted unanimously at its Oct. 15 meeting to do the necessary zoning changes and approve mitigation measures to start the development process for the 198-room hotel.
The council also authorized more than $5 million for Dublin’s first arts center, which will include a black box theater, gallery space, and dance and drama rehearsal space.
It will be located in the police building wing in the Dublin Civic Center.
The hotel site is part of the Dublin Transit Center land, between Arnold Way and Campus Drive. The area was zoned for commercial offices when an EIR was completed in 2002. City staff studied the parking requirements, and concluded that removing some spaces would still yield 279 parking spots, more than enough to meet the expected demand.
Dublin Chamber of Commerce President Inge Houston told the council that Westin will be a large revenue generator because of its contribution to the city’s hotel tax, and will be the Tri-Valley’s only five-star hotel.
Greg Bonato, president of electricians union IBEW Local 595, said a hotel like the Westin is needed, and will create new jobs for residents. The union local, which has its headquarters in Dublin, has an apprentice program that can help new people start in electrician jobs, said Bonato, of Dublin.
All council members and Mayor David Haubert were enthusiastic about the project. Haubert said it will be a good meeting place for conventions and is walkable to BART.
“I can’t wait to break ground,” he said. “The building brings needed meeting space to the city, and it’s good to see our trades endorse it.”
Vice-mayor Melissa Hernandez said it is an amenity for the whole Tri-Valley.
Shawn Kumagai said he was glad to see union labor incorporated into this process.
Councilman Arun Goel, attending the meeting by remote access from India, said the Transit Center is a good location for the hotel. He suggested making it accessible by bicycle.
On the discussion of creating Dublin’s first arts center, the council first approved the concept in December 2016. On Oct. 15, the council approved the $5.7 million budget. A black box theater, dance studio, classroom and gallery will occupy 13,000 square feet.
After initial approval in 2016, the city hired a consultant, Group 4 Architecture and Research Planning, of South San Francisco, for a feasibility study. Some of the $866,000 contract went to an outreach survey to determine what arts spaces and programs were desired by residents.
Sawsan Wolski, Vice-president of the Dublin Arts Collective, said the organization is only two years old, but with a facility, the group will be able to expand.
The collective has participated in the past year in the East Bay Open Studios and the Dublin arts event known as Splatter. Now the group is working on a year-long project involving artists from Dublin, the Tri-Valley and East Bay, for an arts exchange.
“We will bring some San Francisco artists to our area. A year ago, I would not have thought that was possible,” Wolski said.
Steve Minnear, a member of the Dublin Heritage and Cultural Arts Commission, said artists are eager for a place to display their work.
“We’ve heard from many artists,” he said. “There is no place in Dublin where that can easily be done. People, like the Arts Collective, have come together to energize the community, and we really have done that. We have a really remarkable arts community out there.”
Another Arts Collective member, Vanessa Thomas, said a center will bring a different energy to the Tri-Valley. “I’ve been invited to speak at the Livermore Arts Council. We formed partnerships with Pleasanton already,” she said.