City councilors voted unanimously Wednesday night to approve each of the permits necessary for proponents to construct a 101-room hotel on Gloucester’s Commercial Street in the historic neighborhood known as the Fort.
The application submitted by proponents Sheree DeLorenzo and Jim Davis — grouped as Beauport Gloucester LLC. – for a $20 million hotel project drew support from eight councilors, with Bob Whynott absent.
Councilor Bruce Tobey, who supported the project, said that, over the months since the permit application was filed in August, city boards and committees have thoroughly vetted the project, preparing him for a vote in favor.
“Very little, I believe, stands unresolved,” Tobey said. “It has been well vetted, it has been well designed. It’s had its hiccups. They’ve been dealt with.”
Ciolino, supporting the hotel project on the grounds that he believes it will bring other businesses to Gloucester and add a tax base, also pointed to the $6 million Beauport Gloucester LLC. has agreed to kick in for infrastructure improvements in the area, $600,000 of which the duo has already contributed.
“It’ll be built, it will be cleaned up, the infrastructure will be fixed. I feel that this hotel will be a change agent...a change agent that’s really needed,” Ciolino said.
Council President Jackie Hardy agreed with Ciolino’s sentiment that the Beauport Gloucester Hotel project would pull the city forward.
“Let’s embrace the change the city of Gloucester is going through and move forward,” Hardy said.
Councilor Bob Whynott was absent from the meeting and public hearing that began in Kyrouz auditorium at 7 p.m. Tuesday with voting continued into Wednesday due to longstanding plans with his wife, according to Council President Hardy.
Opponents had urged councilors to vote down the proposal, saying a no vote would mean only that the council was insisting on a better design.