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Manchester eyes plans for 2 new hotels

New Hampshire Union Leader

October 06. 2016 12:31AM

MANCHESTER — Plans for two different hotels on different sides of downtown go before city planners tonight.

One hotel would hug the perimeter of Veterans Memorial Park and offer multiple-night stays in the heart of downtown.

The other hotel would be at a midpoint in the Millyard and cater to millennials, offering a hip atmosphere and low-priced rooms.

The Manchester Planning Board is scheduled to hold public hearings for both projects during a meeting that starts at 6 p.m. at City Hall.

Both are brand-name hotels. Both would be six stories.

The 145-room Residence Inn Marriott would be an extended-stay hotel on Central Street where E&R Cleaners is located.

“It will be a plus for the (Veterans Memorial) park, a plus for the whole community,” said developer Dick Anagnost, who is partnering with the owners of E&R Cleaners to build the hotel. Planning Department documents estimate the building and site costs at $15 million.

Anagnost said he purposely did not include a restaurant or large function room in the hotel, given the proximity of downtown restaurants and the Radisson Hotel.

The Millyard hotel would be a new brand — Tru by Hilton. The 106-room hotel would be built on the Bedford Street parking lot at Spring and Commercial streets.

The hotel would take up about half the lot, with the remainder used for parking. The hotel would build a ramp for a second level of parking above the city lot.

The first floor of the Tru hotel would include about 8,000 square feet of retail space.

Tru hotel developer Peter Flotz said he reworked a feasibility study after Anagnost announced his plans. He doesn’t see a problem with the two hotels opening nearly simultaneously.

“We’re down in the heart of the Millyard; he’s in the downtown,” Flotz said.

The $13 million Tru hotel would include 106 rooms, a pool and fitness space.

The Hilton website said Tru rooms are designed to be economical but offer up-to-date technology. Flotz said no Tru hotels are open yet, but about 125 are under development across the country.

He said the project won unanimous support last week from the city Heritage Commission. In a nod to the commission, Flotz agreed to add a brick exterior to the side of the hotel that faces the Millyard.

Anagnost said Marriott wants its design characteristics followed in order to protect its high-end brand.

The entrance to the hotel was initially off Lake Avenue, but Anagnost moved it to Central Street so the entrance would front Veterans Memorial Park, he said. The entrance includes a canopy and front drop-off area.

Anagnost said potential guests include business travelers, weekend vacationers, and parents visiting children in colleges.

City ordinances require neither of the hotels to provide parking. But Marriott plans call for a 96-car parking lot. The Tru hotel would secure 81 spaces on the parking deck.

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