GloucesterTimes.com, Gloucester, MA

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March 7, 2013

Hotel plan in 'home stretch'

Beauport Gloucester hopes for council green lights

The principals in Beauport Gloucester LLC, the development company formed to create a 101-room hotel on Pavilion Beach and the city’s Outer Harbor, are hoping to secure two key votes over the next six days that will deliver significant green lights for a project that’s been in the talking stages for a year.

Cruiseport Gloucester’s Sheree DeLorenzo and New Balance owner Jim Davis — organized as Beauport Gloucester LLC — filed their application last August for the four-story hotel after the City Council last June approved a hotel overlay district that allowed for a hotel to be built essentially on top of the marine industrial zone that covers Commercial Street and Fort Square.

“This is the home stretch,” DeLorenzo said in an interview with the Times Wednesday.

The developers have worked since then to meet six criteria, including keeping with the character and social structure of the neighborhood, meeting traffic and safety standards, looking at the impact on the natural environment and considering the potential fiscal impact.

A third party developer reviewed the application and noted necessary changes, which DeLorenzo said Beauport Gloucester LLC has made.

DeLorenzo said she and her Beauport Gloucester partners are hoping to gain favorable recommendation tonight from the City Council’s Planning and Development subcommittee headed by councilor-at-large and former four-term Mayor Bruce Tobey. That recommendation would then go to the full City Council, where DeLorenzo said she also hopes to gain overall council approval for the project at a public hearing to be held Tuesday at City Hall’s Kyrouz Auditorium.

Tonight’s Planning and Development meeting is also at 7 at the Rose Baker Senior Center - not at Sawyer Free Library as initially announced. The council must also sign off on a variance for the height of the four-story hotel structure, which would rise at its highest point to 61 feet. Work crews from Windhover Construction were at work at the former Birdseye industrial site Wednesday constructing a simulation tower that would give residents and officials a sense of the proposed height.

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