Elon Glucklich / The Bulletin

A Montana company wants to build a four-story Marriott hotel on the old Brooks-Scanlon crane shed property near the Old Mill District in Bend.

Braxton Development, a Bozeman hotel development firm, filed planning documents with the city of Bend last week, outlining a proposal for a 90-room SpringHill Suites hotel, one of 19 different hotel brands under the Marriott name.

Braxton officials said the plan isn't set in stone.

“We haven't been formally approved by Marriott yet,” said Will Ralph, Braxton's director of development. Company officials have a Nov. 14 meeting with the city to discuss its proposal.

“We have the intention of moving forward,” Ralph said. “We'll find out more here in about a week.” Over the last 10 years, the property, which once housed millions of feet of lumber, has been the site of two failed development proposals and one citywide controversy.

In 2004, a local development group that bought the land knocked down the crane shed without getting a permit from the city of Bend, sparking outcry from some city officials and the public.

Several years later, a separate developer proposed a project with 33,300 square feet of retail, 19,500 square feet of restaurants, 20,700 square feet of offices, 54 condominiums and underground parking. Known as The Mercato, it never got off the ground.

An executive of the former Bend company Edge Wireless bought the property in a short sale for $1.4 million in late 2011 and still owns it, county records show.

Planning documents filed by Braxton Development show a proposal for a 14,980-square-foot hotel on the east half of the 4.3-acre crane shed property.

Braxton and Marriott will have to address potential height issues before moving forward. Bend city code limits buildings taller than 35 feet in that area without a conditional use permit. But Braxton officials want to discuss a possible permit to build up to 74 feet in the air.

The developers could possibly get a variance from the city, Aaron Henson, Bend senior planner, said. The Mercato received a similar variance when plans were approved in 2006.

A potential variance for the Braxton project won't be decided until after developers meet with the city next week.

Braxton has developed hotels in North Dakota and Wyoming, according to its website, as well as apartments in the Midwest and southeast.

The project would be the second new hotel to go up near Bend's Old Mill District in a little more than a year. Construction crews broke ground on a three-story, 114-room Hampton Inn and Suites near the Les Schwab Amphitheater in June. It's expected to open next summer.

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