Letter to the Editor: Komer’s opinion of Bluemont Hotel not based in facts

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In the December 11th Collegian Lauren Komer contests what she sees as the various flaws and shortcomings of the new hotel being built at the corner of Bluemont and N. Manhattan. She complains about the traffic conditions in the Bluemont corridor between 11th street and N. Manhattan and placing the blame directly to the hotel. This claim is entirely inaccurate. In 2010 KDOT selected this project to receive funds as a part of the Surface Transportation Program to create safer roads around the state. This project is being run jointly by the city of Manhattan and KDOT, and the disruptions caused by the street project are in no way related to the hotel which is a privately funded project.

The next point she brings up is that Manhattan is currently undergoing a housing shortage. While I can’t speak to the truth of this, I do know that I have lived off campus in Manhattan for the last four years, and I have never had a problem finding a place to live. Also I have never lived anywhere that was more than three blocks off campus. She also discusses that the land would be a prime place to build an apartment complex, but I do not believe that one apartment complex would solve every student’s housing dilemma. The lot the hotel sits on had to be rezoned from residential use to commercial use which is no small task. If this issue is as important as I am led to believe then she should have attended some of the public hearings to voice her discontent.

Ms. Komer also discusses that while these hotel rooms will be filled on the weekends of home football games. This claim probably has a fair amount of truth to it, and I believe that is why the owner has allotted space in the building for commercial retail space. This multifunctional space allows the owner to still collect revenue even if the rooms are not being filled. In addition, her criticism of the project’s alleged lack of progress should be of little to no concern of anyone but the owner. If the project isn’t completed on time the only two parties that will be hurt are the owner, who will miss out on potential revenue, and the contractor, who will most likely be forced to pay damages for not delivering the project on time. That being said, I do believe this project will be completed on time since the owner most likely chose this contractor because of the contractor’s track record on projects similar to this hotel, and in addition most construction contracts have a stipulation that the contactor provide the owner an updated schedule on a regular basis. In the end this is a privately funded project so it is ultimately the owner’s decision to decide whether they will make more money on a hotel or an apartment complex, and since we live in a capitalist society it should be their choice to make.

Grant Weber

Senior in Construction Science and Management

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