An application to construct a Business Hotel, at 203 Fore Street, has been received by the city’s planning office. Business hotel refers to the fact that it is located in an area with high business demand.
The narrative described the proposed building as 6-stories tall, with 1-story of common space, dining, kitchen, support space, retail/restaurant and parking garage. The narrative, dated September 27, 2017 from the DLR Group, in Overland Park, Kansas, said that a rooftop bar is planned for the 5th floor of the building. One hundred twenty-eight rooms are anticipated. Parking will be located on the first and second floors and is only valet accessible. The lobby is located on the first floor with access from Fore Street. The restaurant is also located on the corner of Fore and India Streets for easy pedestrian access.
This proposed Business Hotel will be located in the lot that is currently used as an outdoor parking next to the Hampton Inn. Years ago the entire space was occupied by the Jordan Meat Company. It changed hands several times.
In May of 2010, an immense fire broke out in the building. One hundred firefighters from all over the Greater Portland area battled the massive fire. The inferno caused billows of smoky clouds and an accompanying stench that filled the air atop Munjoy Hill. That brought many to the site of the fire – including this blogger. It was a windy day and the fire department was commended for containing it before it could spread in the area. The fire was never seriously considered suspicious, but probably related to renovation work that had begun inside the large plant. Opechee Construction Corporation, NH, purchased the property.
It was the original intent of Opechee to build on the entire lot, but because of the recession, that did not come to fruition. What is now the parking lot, and perhaps now will be a Business Hotel, was supposed to have been an office building. However, as stated previously, it didn’t happen because it is believed the financing did not come through.
Management at the next door Hampton Inn today was unaware of the proposal to build a Business Hotel at 203 Fore Street. The proposal could be on the planning board agenda in December 2017.
A neighborhood meeting to discuss the proposed hotel is set for Wednesday, November 15, at the Hilton Garden Inn, 65 Commercial Street, between :30 – pm – 8:30 pm. Chatham Lodging Trust currently owns the Hampton Inn, 209 Fore Street and the new hotel will be under the same ownership.
The second proposal on the east end is for a three unit residential condominium at 30 Fox Street. The proposed location is a vacant lot at the corner of Winthrop and Fox Streets. The building will be four stories with first level parking underneath the structure. The parking will be accessed by a driveway off of Fox Street. The building will be accessed from a street entrance and rear entrance serving the main egress stair.
The narrative letter, dated September 21, 2017, came from Evan Carroll, of Bild Architecture in Portland. Carroll was the architect for Marquis Lofts, 33 Lafayette Street, a project of Munjoy Hill resident Peter Bass. Some neighbors believed that the design of the building was not in keeping with the neighborhood. Carroll was also the architect for 65 Munjoy Street, for Adam’s Apple. Adam’s Apple was sued by neighbors in the area for poor design. The matter was eventually settled out of court with the developer having to make numerous concessions in the design in order to resolve the matter.
Please see post herein dated May 31, 2016 for more background on the subject.