Boutique hotel planned for Old Town Auburn

The developer-operator behind the Gold Miners Inn/Holiday Inn Express & Suites in Grass Valley is proposing to build an 80-room boutique hotel, conference center and parking garage for about 120 cars in Old Town Auburn.

The hotel addresses a chronic problem in the Auburn-Grass Valley corridor — a lodging shortage. It is being proposed by Hallmark Development Corp. of Roseville, whose CEO is Nick Hayhurst, whom we discussed the deal with. Nick and Michael Bullis are part of the development team and board of Destination Properties. All are seasoned hoteliers. Earlier in his career, Bullis directed the growth of the Disneyland Hotel, as well as successful boutique properties in the state.

“With several properties currently under contract in Sacramento, Placerville, Auburn and Grass Valley, California, Destination Properties continues to offer the same renowned management with a new creative direction,” Destination notes. Current hotel projects include the Gold Miners Inn in Grass Valley, the Holiday Inn Express in Placerville and Clarion Inn Airport / Graceland.

The City of Auburn owns a parcel at 150 Folsom Rd, commonly called the “jury lot.” It currently is used for parking for the historic Auburn Courthouse. The City has been approached by Hallmark with a proposal to lease the property and build the boutique hotel, conference center and parking garage.

The City of Auburn’s staff has conducted preliminary negotiations with the developer, but has yet to settle on specific details of the project. “The City could benefit from an additional hotel property for special events, as well as a modern conference center,” according to a memo from City manager Timothy Rundel.

Hayhurst presented the plan to the Auburn City Council on Monday night in an informational session. “The City Council members loved the concept as long as the Old Town Auburn Business Association is in favor of it,” Nick told us. “They have this on their wish list — more parking, an event center and new lodging within the Old Town area. This fits perfectly into their desires. ”

(Photo: Auburn Courthouse by Placer County)

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