BANGOR, Maine — A hotelier responsible for 10 Maine hotels on Tuesday rolled out early plans for a five-story Residence Inn by Marriott — one of six hotels planned for Bangor since 2006.
Ocean Properties, which owns more than 100 hotels and resorts in North America, unveiled early designs for a 124-room hotel next door to the Cross Insurance Center during a Tuesday night Business and Economic Development Committee meeting.
The Residence Inn likely would draw people attending conferences, including conventions scheduled at the Cross Insurance Center, many of whom likely would stay for more than one night. Ocean Properties has said it plans to invest $18 million in the development.
Tanya Emery, Bangor’s director of economic and community development, said the spurt of hotel development has a lot to with Bangor’s “role as a service center for a very large, vast region,” of Maine and the Maritimes.
“The growth in hotels is certainly above what any industry expert would have expected for a community of 33,000 people,” Emery said Tuesday.
Freeport-based Maine Course Hospitality Group, which owns the 90-room Courtyard Marriott adjacent to Interstate 95 on Sylvan Road, broke ground in September on a second hotel, a TownePlace Suites, right next door. The developer of that site has said the hotel will be geared toward extended stays, sometimes of up to a few weeks or months. It will cater to business executives, construction workers, visiting doctors, researchers and others who relocate to Bangor for an extended period of time but not long enough to warrant a move.
Since the Courtyard Marriott was completed in 2006, three other hotels have been built in Bangor — the Hilton Garden Inn on Haskell Road and Hollywood Casino on Main Street in 2008 and the Hampton Inn across the street from the Hilton in 2011.
The new Residence Inn should join that list in May 2015, when its opening is scheduled, according to Rob Frank of WBRC Architects and Engineers, site engineers for the project.
Frank said the building wasn’t designed to look like a “typical Residence Inn.”
The hotel was designed by Manchester, N.H.-based Pro Con Inc., which took inspiration from Bangor’s historic Eastern Trust Building on State Street, according to Frank.
“They wanted this building to feel more in touch with Bangor,” he said.
The hotel will include a roughly 100-seat restaurant with a separate entrance, and people not staying at the hotel would be welcome to eat there. The restaurant is expected to be unique to the hotel, rather than a chain.
In all, the new hotel and restaurant are expected to employ about 150 people, according to Frank.
“This is going to be a really nice beacon on this end of Main Street for Bangor,” said Andy Hamilton, an attorney representing BanRes LLC, an Ocean Properties subsidiary.
Under project agreement, construction will not interfere with events at the Cross Insurance Center, racetrack, Bangor State Fair or other events.
The hotel will be a valuable tool in drawing conventions to the Cross Insurance Center, as people organizing those events often ask about the number of hotel rooms in the immediate vicinity of a venue, according to Emery. Those conventions would draw hundreds of people to Bangor to fill hotel rooms, shop at stores and eat at restaurants, she added.
With six hotels opening in less than a decade in Bangor, could more be coming? Or is the city reaching its saturation point?
“I think that Bangor has reached a good point with its hotel inventory,” not just in terms of number of rooms available, but also in terms price points on those rooms, Emery said.
“But I wouldn’t say that it’s not coming,” Emery said, adding that she sees a need for more hotel space in the downtown area.