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December 5, 2012

Letter: Essex Avenue hotel 'slipping away'

To the editor:

Several years ago we started our journey to bring an award-winning hotel to 99 Essex Ave.

Today, unfortunately, we feel that goal may be slipping away.

There are essentially two reasons for this. First, some neighbors appealed the decisions of the Conservation Commission and City Council to approve the project.

This, in turn, led to protracted litigation which we feel we ultimately would have won. The land owners are no longer willing to wait; however, in defense of the land owners, the contract is over three years old.

The second reason relates to the sewer system along lower Essex Avenue, which has been deemed inadequate.

The city has given us no guarantees regarding the timeline to eventually tie into the Essex Avenue sewer line. And, any needed repairs to the sewer system may be years away. Again, the land owners were no longer willing to wait.

Gloucester has proven to be a tough environment for development, unlike any we have encountered in our 30 years of real estate experience.

We strongly believe our project would have been good for the city.

Likewise, we fully support the Jim Davis and Sheree DeLorenzo Birdseye project, and believe it could be a great asset for downtown Gloucester, creating many jobs and spurring the local economy.

It has been a long and difficult journey. We would like to thank the mayor and City Council for their work and support of our project.

We believe they are working hard to create jobs while maintaining the charm and history of this beautiful city.

We still love Gloucester and hope one day to bring an award-winning hotel to the city.

DR. DAVID HILL

Hill Hospitality LLC, Easton, Md.

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