The Middletown Township Board of Supervisors has rejected a plan to build a four-story hotel near Oxford Valley Mall.
The hotel would have gone up at the site of the now closed Toys “R” Us at 2345 Lincoln Highway.
Chris Vernon, president of Mercer Management, purchased the site in 2018 after Toys “R” Us declared bankruptcy. His original vision was to build a car wash, but the parcel was too large.
So, the plan changed to include the car wash and a “Tru hotel” from Hilton. Vernon told the supervisors he already has affiliation with Hilton and owns eight hotels.
The Auto Wash is already open within the renovated Toys “R” Us building. Engineer Justin Geonnotti said the hotel would fit within the unused parking lot.
“It fits entirely within that area with no impact to the existing operations of the Auto Wash,” said Geonnotti.
Geonnotti noted the combination of both the car wash and hotel would generate less traffic than the Toys “R” Us. He presented hotel plans showing 104 parking spaces and 92 rooms.
The site sits across Lincoln Highway from Oxford Valley Mall. This spurred concerns for the supervisors, who worried pedestrians may try to cross the highway to get to the mall.
In voting against the hotel, Supervisor Tom Tosti went as far as to call it a “detriment to the public health.”
The Board of Supervisors voted 3-1 against the proposal. Chairman Mike Ksiazek recused himself from the vote.