Boutique hotel with 148 rooms planned for Thompson's Point
Peter McGuire | Portland Press Herald, Maine | November 10, 2017 2:51pm
Nov. 09--A Portland developer has submitted plans for a 148-room hotel in the burgeoning arts and entertainment complex at Thompson's Point.
A hotel has always been central to the vision to remake the former railroad yard on the Fore River, said Chris Thompson, a principal with Forefront Partners.
"There has been a hotel contemplated as part of it since the outset," Thompson said. "It is only really now that we have reached the point that we had all the conditions right to go ahead with the site plan."
Designs of the Thompson's Point hotel show a five-story, red-brick building located between the Brick South event center and outdoor concert space. The proposed hotel will have a full-service restaurant and bar, pool and other amenities. Valet parking will be offered for guests, using existing parking lots in Thompson's Point. The development initially included 24 condominiums on the top floor, but was replaced with hotel rooms in the development application.
The company is planning an upscale hotel with a direct connection to the neighboring event space and concert venue, and a large outdoor yard with views west over the Fore River, Thompson said. The company wants to differentiate the property from a flurry of new hotel projects planned in downtown Portland, and connect with diverse businesses and events at Thompson's Point.
"It is a much more boutique-style property that draws inspiration from what is great about Portland and Maine," Thompson said. "Our goal is to have something that complements what we have and builds upon the momentum of the project as a whole."
The project is estimated to cost $18 million, according to an application filed with the Portland Department of Planning and Urban Development by Forefront Hoteliers LLC.
This is the fifth new hotel announced in Portland since the beginning of the year. If all the projects are built, it could add approximately 650 new hotel rooms into the city. Hotel projects on Fisherman's Wharf, Commercial Street and Fore Street have either been announced or are in the pipeline for planning board approval, including an application for a 128-room hotel on Fore Street filed in October.
Thompson said he isn't worried about competition from new hotels. Connecting the hotel to Brick South will be a draw for guests attending weddings, trade shows and other functions, or visiting town for a concert or beer festival at the nearby outdoor concert venue. The hotel will be connected to businesses and the new Children's Museum & Theatre of Maine with a pedestrian-only walkway leading to the concert venue, Thompson said.
"We are not interested in building something to grab other parts of the market," Thompson said. "We are interested in developing things to bring people to Portland. There is room night demand we are adding."
Developers plan to start construction next spring, to coincide with construction of a new building for the Children's Museum & Theatre of Maine and a shared roadway and infrastructure.
The Thompson's Point redevelopment started in 2009 and a $110 million master plan for the former 30-acre industrial property was approved by the Portland Planning Board in 2014.
It has since attracted a growing range of businesses including Bissell Brothers Brewing Co., Cellardoor Winery, Stroudwater Distillery and the International Cryptozoology Museum. The outdoor concert venue has space for up to 7,500 people and has hosted national music acts for a summer concert series, as well as food and beer festivals. More buildings are planned for the property, including a parking garage, residential developments and office space.