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August 04. 2013 8:35PM

Nashua hotel proposal to go before planning board

NASHUA — City planners will decide this week whether to allow a new, four-story hotel to be constructed in Nashua's Ward 2 near several other existing hotels.

Developer Robert Walker of Westford, Mass., is proposing the new Residence Inn by Marriott, which would include 118-rooms and a separate standing restaurant.

Walker previously built a Residence Inn and a Hampton Inn in Westford, Mass. He is also the developer of Cornerstone Square in Westford.

Preliminary plans for the 26,425-square-foot hotel at 25 Trafalgar Square are currently on file at Nashua City Hall. On Thursday, the Nashua City Planning Board will be presented with the TS Residence Inn LLC plans, and is expected to vote on the project.

According to Carter Falk, deputy planning manager for the city, the 4.5 acre property is already zoned park/industrial, which allows for hotel construction.If approved, the new hotel will be New Hampshire's seventh Residence Inn by Marriott. The closest Residence Inn is housed on the Daniel Webster Highway in Merrimack, and other sites are located in Concord, Lebanon, North Conway and two facilities in Portsmouth.
Jessica Stadd, media spokesperson for Residence Inn by Marriott, declined to provide any official comment on the project.

Ward 2 Alderman Richard Dowd Dowd said recently he is pleased the proposed hotel site, which has sat vacant for more than decade, will now be developed and hopefully bring more revenue into the city.

"This site has been an eyesore for quite some time," Dowd said.

Despite the other four hotels in the nearby vicinity, Dowd said that if this is a viable business opportunity, it should be pursued.

However, during a recent Zoning Board of Adjustment meeting, Dowd did voice some concerns about traffic and parking.

Last month, the zoning board approved a variance to allow the construction of the corresponding 6,000-square-foot, 225-seat restaurant that has yet to be identified.The restaurant proposes 75 parking spaces, with the hotel recommending 193 parking spaces. The hotel, if approved, will be constructed on the western side of Trafalgar Square, just north of Cannongate Drive.

Paul Okonak, who lives nearby at the Cannongate III apartment complex, also recently expressed concerns about additional traffic at the small intersection where Cannongate and Trafalgar Square connect.

Okonak also noted that there are four other hotels in the nearby vicinity, and said that this will be a fifth competitor within walking distance from all of them.

Hancock Associates is engineering the project, while Dennis D. Smith is the primary architect, according to the plans. Thursday's planning board meeting begins at 7 p.m. at Nashua City Hall.

khoughton@newstote.com


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