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HIGHLAND | A six building motel complex will be built on the long-vacant property that once housed the Terry Shaver Pontiac dealership.

The land at 2121 45th St., at the northwest corner of Prairie Avenue and 45th Street, was recently purchased by Prairie Square LLC.

The Shaver building, which has been empty for the past 10 years, already has been razed.

"The motel is expected to open in the late summer or fall of 2014," Prairie Square Principal Eric Gastevich said Friday afternoon through his attorney, Brent Torrenga.

The business is expected to be operated and managed by Prairie Square, Highland Building Commissioner Ken Mika said.

Gastevich expressed a previous interest in the site last April when the town denied a proposal to build apartments there, said Cecile Petro, redevelopment director.

The apartments would have required a zoning change from the current B-3 business zone, but motels are already permitted, Mika said.

Because the motel legally fits the zoning, Gastevich needed no public hearings or special permission, Mika said.

While a demolition permit was given, a site plan must be approved before a building permit can be issued.

Site plan approval is usually just a formality by the Plan Commission after all legal requirements have been satisfied, town officials said.

This includes a review by the Redevelopment Commission of the landscaping, building materials and lighting, Petro said.

Mika said the complex will consist of five two- and three-story buildings with a total of 176 motel units.

The sixth building will be in the middle and house an office, lounge and exercise area, he added.

The buildings will be wood framed with exterior wood and stone accents, along with outside balconies, Mika said.

The project will cost more than $10 million. Gastevich said construction will begin "as soon as possible."

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Metro Editor