|By K.C. Myers, Cape Cod Times, Hyannis,
Mass.McClatchy-Tribune Regional News
September 18, 2009 - -HYANNIS -- It will be a lush, luxurious greeting to Hyannis visitors and it will replace urban blight.
That was the pitch to the Barnstable Town Council last night by developer Stuart Bornstein, who is seeking a regulatory agreement to construct a 132-room, 55-foot tall hotel on the traffic-jammed Route 28 corridor between Willow Street and the Barnstable Municipal Airport rotary.
The proposed Hilton Garden Inn has been designed to be lush, filled with vegetation and gardens, including a "living wall of plants" to cover the building like ivy, according to Bornstein's attorney, John W. Kenney of Centerville.
The structure would have five stories, with a brick and wooden exterior designed to have a Cape Cod look, with all the bells and whistles for a business class hotel. And it would come equipped with many of the latest environmentally friendly accoutrements.
"It will help change a blighted space into a new gateway for Hyannis," said Karen Whitman, Hilton's regional director of franchise development.
The proposal has been the subject of 13 meetings before being approved by the Barnstable Planning Board, Kenney said.
But the project is controversial because of the likely traffic increase in an area already choked by cars between the rotary and Willow Street. Kenney said the hotel would only add 1 percent to the traffic. "We have traffic issues in that area," he said. "We're not causing it, we're caught in the middle of it."
A former church and plumbing supply business, the lot where the hotel would go has been vacant and an eye-sore since 2007, Kenney said.
Some critics have said the proposed building is far taller than the other buildings in the neighborhood.
Kenney provided a list of Hyannis buildings for the sake of comparison. Barnstable Town Hall is 71-feet tall, he said, adding the new addition to Cape Cod Hospital measures 84 feet.
To make his pitch, Bornstein brought in an architect, a traffic planner, a Hilton corporate representative, and an expert in fire safety. The panel voted to extend the public discussion on the hotel until Oct. 15.
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Copyright (c) 2009, Cape Cod Times, Hyannis, Mass.
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