HoJo likely to replace Kings Inn

The Kings Inn motel likely will become a Howard Johnson, not a Super 8, with renovations to begin in February at the earliest and last six months. Both are brands of Wyndham Hotels and developers currently are in negotiations but expect HoJo might have more recognition in this area.

Several residents of the adjacent Riverwalk townhouse development appeared before the Planning Board last Tuesday night to question the application and remedy concerns about illicit activity at the site.

Principals of Ratan Rahway, the developer, promised that the new hotel will not accept Section 8 (welfare) housing, as is the case with the Kings Inn. As a franchise, the hotel would be expected twice a year to continue to operate under one of the Wyndham brands.

Plans are to renovate the existing rooms, along with turning the tower in a two-story structure. They expect to invest $800,000 to $900,000 in renovations. While the original two-story structure will not be razed, developers said they plan to have a new facade, roof and all new furniture and amenities in each room, along with eliminating the existing floor-to-ceiling windows, which was a concern for some residents. New fencing also will be erected between the hotel site and adjacent townhouse development.

The property (1360 Route 1/Block 304, Lots 5-6) last changed hands in 2004, when it was purchased for about $1.1 million from LTL Hotel Corp. by The Rahway Tower, LLC, according to PropertyShark.com.