|By Ann DeMatteo, New Haven Register,
Conn.McClatchy-Tribune Regional News
Jun. 19, 2009--HAMDEN -- The Planning and Zoning Commission has approved the plan for a hotel on Sherman Avenue.
The lawyer for Mankoff Development, Michael Brandi, said his clients are anxious to build the 112-room facility on 11 acres at 660 Sherman Ave. as soon as possible.
Following Tuesday night's approval, the New York firm, which has an office on Whitney Avenue, will work on construction documents and details that need to be presented to town officials so that the project can move forward, Brandi said.
"The goal is to have the foundation and site work done by the end of the summer," said Brandi, of the East Haven firm of Cohen & Acampora.
The name of the company that will manage the five-story hotel has not been finalized. "We are still negotiating and completing a contract with a national chain," Brandi said.
Prior to Tuesday night's PZC approval, the PZC OK'd an amendment to the zoning regulations to allow hotels on Sherman Avenue. The Inland Wetlands Commission earlier this month approved the project, but asked the developer to remove the boardwalk that would lead from the site to the Farmington Canal Greenway because of concerns about wetlands disturbance. PZC Chairman Joseph McDonagh said commissioners Tuesday night also wanted to make sure that the satellite parking lot proposed for Old Sherman Lane would be for hotel employees only, due to a lack of sidewalk.
Business people in the area supported the project, McDonagh said.
The hotel will be built across from Corporate Ridge, next to Amphenol Products.
"I think it's a nice addition for the town," McDonagh added.
The hotel and adjoining restaurant will be 71,095 square feet. It will have a pool, fitness center and restaurant. The plan also includes a 1,200-square-foot maintenance garage, 165 parking spaces and site improvements. More than half of the site is wooded; the rest is meadow and about 5 acres of wetlands.
Mankoff Development is "very pleased and very appreciative of the efforts of town staff and the commission. We are pleased with the results and are looking forward to this development with the town," Brandi said.
The need for hotel space in town, especially in light of the growth of Quinnipiac University, played into the developer's decision to want to build in Hamden, Brandi said.
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