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If Holly planners approve conditional rezoning, the former Holly Area Schools administration building on College Street will become a boutique hotel and banquet center.

 Now that both the Holly Village Planning Commission and Village Council have given their approvals to rezone 111 College St., the owners of the former Holly Area Schools building can move forward with their boutique hotel and banquet center project.

 At a special Planning Commission meeting Feb. 6, conditional rezoning from R-1B Residential to C-Commercial was recommended. The owners of the

building Cari Cucksey and her husband, Vince Iafano provided a written list of agreed upon conditions and restrictions, which the couple agrees will stay with the property.

 They also agree to provide additional parking beyond their existing lots when necessary.

 They agree to make sure all of their alcohol dispensing staff receives MLCC (Michigan Liquor Control Commission) Michigan TIPS training and certification.

 The couple also agrees that all exterior sound will be in total compliance with the village noise ordinance of 11 p.m. and will work with the village police to maintain adequate security at all times.

 They agree to install and maintain dense perimeter landscape screening on the north property line, which has an immediate adjacent residence, and they agree to eliminate several permitted uses in the Commercial district. They are: automotive supply, parts and accessories providers, laundromats and dry-cleaners, mortuaries and funeral homes, new and used car lot and trailer sales and rental lots, gas stations, drive-in/drive through services, a lumberyard, medical marijuana dispensary, golf driving ranges and miniature gold, and automotive towing services.

 At its Tuesday, Feb. 11 meeting, the Holly Village Council also unanimously approved the rezoning.

 According to Katy Golden, assistant village manager and director of the Downtown Development Authority (DDA), “In addition to excluding certain uses, the applicant also voluntarily agreed to have the property be included in the Historic District, which would not allow for any addition or demolition. We had talked to prior developers who had proposed to demolish parts or the entire historic portion of the building.  We’re thankful that this will not happen; our history is too important to us.”

 There have been no formal agreements about parking.  “As one of the options, Vince and Cari mentioned the possibility of valet parking in Cyclone Park if needed for overflow parking,” Golden said. “But there is nothing formally contracted, it was just an idea.” Holly Area Schools is developing an opportunity to potentially rent parking spaces, but there’s nothing specific in place at this time. 

 “This parking opportunity would be available to anyone through an application process,” Golden said. “However,Vince and Cari believe that there should be enough parking spaces on site at 111 College St.”

 Cucksey submitted a parking plan to use the 700 or 800 parking spaces at the Karl Richter Center, which guests would be able to utilize via a shuttle bus. They also plan to employ valet parking.

 Iafano and Cucksey are investing $3,000 annually to the district’s scholarship program in exchange for parking. 

Next steps

 Under rezoning, site plan submittal is not required because the footprint of the building and parking lot are not changing. Therefore, it won’t go on the Planning Commission or the Council’s agenda because it’s not required, Golden said.  


 Cari Cucksey and husband Vince Iafano, purchased the building at 111 College St. in 2016 from The River Church, which bought it from the Holly Area Schools district in 2007.

 She moved to Holly with Iafano, in 2015, after purchasing the historic downtown building that once housed the Holly Village offices. She now runs her businesses and resides in the building with her family.

 Cucksey and Iafano plan to rehabilitate the College Street building, which was built in 1913 and covers 44,000 square feet on 2.58 acres, into a mixed-use boutique hotel and wedding/banquet center. The couple has already taken measures to prevent further vandalism that had been taking place in the building over the past several years.

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