Dec. 30–BUZZARDS BAY — After years of hearing what a name-brand hotel can do for the town, the plan is in for a Hampton Inn at 25 Perry Avenue, giving town officials and businesses hope that its construction will be the next step to revitalizing Main Street Buzzards Bay.
The plan for a 100-room hotel on the canal were submitted by the Darling Development Group earlier this month in an application to the town planner for a special permit. Access to the planned hotel would be across from town hall, with a driveway off Perry Avenue, according to the plans. Ultimately, it would connect with the adjacent Keystone Assisted Living facility.
Pioneered by developer Ryan Correia, the hotel hit a snag earlier this year when one member of the Byron family, the former owners of the four commercial lots along the canal, backed out of the sale. The $1.9 million deal for the 11-acre parcel eventually went through in July, but the delay set the project back and gave way to some testy exchanges between the project's attorney and the board of selectmen in their role as sewer commissioners because other projects were hoping for the limited wastewater allocation the hotel held.
"In some ways, the community has been getting impatient," said commission chair and selectman Peter Meier. "Sometimes good things come if you wait."
The hotel is seen by many as one of the pieces that need to fall in place to bring Buzzards Bay back to life.
"It's been about three years or so but it's finally here and it's official," said Marie Oliva, president of the Cape Cod Canal Region Chamber of Commerce. The demand is there, Oliva said, with the chamber's visitor center routinely fielding requests for a name-brand hotel in the town.
Right now there is no such place, Oliva said.
It could also provide Massachusetts Maritime Academy students' parents a place to stay, which could in turn bring more people into town, she said.
"I think it's going to bring people into town," said Stomping Grounds Grille owner Helene Rogers. "This is what we need: foot traffic."
The restaurant on the corner of Main Street and Perry Avenue would be one of the hotel's closest neighboring businesses.
While much of the Cape has become more developed over the years, there has been concern that some buildings on Main Street in Buzzards Bay have become eyesores. The Christopulos building at 129-137 Main Street has been declared unsafe and another property owned by the same company was recently demolished.
Oliva hopes the owners, who she says haven't had a real stake in the community, sell their property to people who want to develop the area.
Attorney David Uitti, who represents the owners of the Christopulos building, declined to comment on Oliva's statement. Messages seeking comment from the developer were not returned by the Times' deadline.
Many hope the hotel will be a catalyst to bring more business and a facelift to the mile-long stretch of Main Street. Correia has also laid out future plans to connect a restaurant and shopping center to the hotel.
"It's one step in the right direction towards other steps that need to be taken as well," Oliva said.
Although it doesn't need to go before the Cape Cod Commission, the hotel will still need to go through the building permit process and the town design review committee will take up the hotel on Jan. 10.
– Follow Ethan Genter on Twitter: @EthanGenterCCT