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BIRMINGHAM, MI-Following a successful opening of a condominium-retail space at theoutskirts of posh downtown Birmingham, architect Victor Saroki is looking tocreate another project in the city.

He’s proposed the design of a $15 million Hilton Hotel along Woodward andMaple Road, at the entrance to the downtown area. The hotel would be builtat the site of a closed Sunoco gas station and a popular hamburger jointcalled Hunter House.

The developer is Kalabat Construction, owned by Jamal Kalabat, Saroki said.The manager of the hotel would be Delta Hotels, Saroki said. Both companiesare based in nearby Farmington, MI.

Saroki told GlobeSt.com that the proposal is still in the very early stages.”We’ve submitted for a pre-application meeting. We still have to go throughsite planning with the city,” Saroki said.He said he expects the planning process to take about a year to get through.It’s very expensive to get site plan approval in Birmingham, Saroki said.The preliminary site plan should be ready to show city officials within 60days, he said.

The current buildings on the site would be bulldozed to make way for the newhotel, he said. However, the Hunter House owner, Mark Papazian, is workingout a deal to allow his burger restaurant to be rebuilt onto the site nextto the Hilton.

Saroki said he’s not sure if there will be any environmental cleanuprequired of the gas station. The attorneys are working that out, thearchitect said.

“The site is still under contract, it hasn’t been closed on yet,” he said.The hotel would have four stories of 105 hotel rooms, he said. The developeris also proposing to the city Planning Commission to build a fifth storywith up to 12 apartment or condominium units, Saroki said.”It’s zoned for four stories, with an option for a fifth floor. The zoningordinance stipulates only the upper floor can be residential,” Saroki said.

The sellable units may be what make the property so viable in the costlyBirmingham area, which is seen as one of the most expensive downtown areasin Michigan.

Saroki knows a good thing, his $7 million condominium-retail project TheWillits, built by the Robertson Bros., opened last summer.The Willits is five stories tall, featuring 58 luxury condominium units and25,000 sf of retail space on the bottom floor. Prices range from $600,000 to$3 million per unit.Most of the units have been purchased, Saroki said proudly, though someconstruction is still being performed to the top of the building.”Out of 57 condominiums, 49 have been sold,” Saroki said.

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