Developer seeks luxury hotel on Maine wharf

Posted Jan. 10, 2009, at 10:22 a.m.

PORTLAND, Maine — A Portland developer and hotel owner is pushing a plan to build a $35 million to $50 million luxury hotel complex on a pier he owns along the Portland waterfront.

Eric Cianchette briefed city officials Friday on his proposed five-story, 150-room hotel on the Maine Wharf. He said the project would subsidize an overhaul of the wharf, which needs $9 million in repairs.

Regulations stemming from a 1993 city referendum limit nonmarine-related commercial development along the waterfront. The Maine Wharf project would require changes in rules that prohibit hotels on piers.

Cianchette, owner of the Portland Regency Hotel, plans to seek a zoning amendment that would allow the city to consider pier hotel projects on a case-by-case basis.