fHampton Inn planned for Buzzards Bayrom the Bourne Enterprise

January 13, 2017

by Michael J. Rausch

Plans for a new Hampton Inn hotel, the inaugural piece of the proposed mixed-use complex fronting the Cape Cod Canal in Buzzards Bay, were unveiled to the Bourne Design Review Committee during its meeting Tuesday, January 10. The 100-room Hampton Inn drew praise from committee members for its look and how it is expected to blend in with the overall look of the town.

“I like the architecture a lot. I like what I’m seeing,” member David O’Connor said.

The hotel is Phase One of a three-phase project covering 11.6 acres that has been touted as also including condominiums, retail space and a restaurant. The hotel owner, David L. Darling, appeared before the committee and outlined his vision for what will be the first piece in the canalside nexus.

Mr. Darling said that he is a fourth-generation hotelier with extensive experience in the hospitality business. He told the committee that among the properties he owns and operates are Hampton Inn & Suites in West Yarmouth, and another Hampton Inn and a Clarion Hotel in Seekonk. He said that he was particularly intrigued by the hotel’s proposed location, right on the Cape Cod Canal.

“On this side of the bridge there aren’t any decent hotel options, let alone any,” he said.

Mr. Darling told the committee that another restaurant or two will be needed in downtown Buzzards Bay to cater to his hotel guests, whether it is a part of the 25 Perry Avenue complex or somewhere else on Main Street. The Hampton Inn, he said, could provide the catalyst for Buzzards Bay’s revitalization.

“It’s got to start somewhere and so we’re hoping this is where it starts,” he said.

The project was delayed for close to a year because of a lengthy dispute among members of the Byron family, owners of the property along the canal on which the complex will be built. That dispute was finally resolved last July and sale of the property to local developer Ryan K. Correia was finalized at $1.9 million.

In September 2014 the sewer commission allocated 27,108 gallons of wastewater capacity per day for the hotel part of the complex. The sewer commissioners have not yet approved allocation for the remaining pieces of the project.

Architect Rolf K. Biggers of BMA Architectural Group in New Hampshire said that while the new hotel will be a Hampton Inn, it will not be typical of that brand, which normally features flat roofs and stucco walls. Mr. Biggers said that the design for the Buzzards Bay building will incorporate sloped roofs, and a brick and clapboard exterior to be more in keeping with the Cape Cod feel of Buzzards Bay. He described it as giving the hotel a “New England harbor town look,” as opposed to the beltway around Topeka, Kansas.

“This is Cape Cod. We have a particular architecture and aesthetic that we have to blend in with. We want to be a part of that,” he said.

Mr. Darling did not give an estimate as to how much construction of the hotel will cost. He did say, however, that because of the upgraded design from a typical Hampton Inn, the cost to build the one in Buzzards Bay will be $1.5 million to $2 million more than usual.

Mr. Darling said his hope is that the new hotel will result in a need for more restaurants in the downtown area, either on Main Street or as part of the overall 25 Perry Avenue project, because the Hampton Inn will not provide that service. The only food served at the hotel will be an expanded continental breakfast, he said.

“All the food’s frozen, nothing comes in raw, nothing needs to be cooked. It comes in frozen, we heat it up, we put it out,” he said.

Town zoning regulations require that there be 1,500 square feet for every room of the hotel. That comes to a development comprising roughly three and a half acres. Joseph E. Longo, senior engineer with the Horsley Witten Group in Sandwich, said that a variance will be requested from the Bourne Planning Board to reduce that requirement to just two and a half acres. Mr. Longo argued that adhering to the zoning requirement would inhibit potential future growth in the area.

Mr. Darling said that he expects brisk business during the warmer months between May and October, with a drop off in business from October to May. At that time, he expects people connected to Massachusetts Maritime Academy, cadets’ families and visiting professors, will patronize his hotel. He said that he also anticipates people who are attending events in Falmouth and Woods Hole will choose to stay at the hotel.

Committee members said that they liked the plans presented to them but did make additional suggestions. Mr. O’Connor said that he would like to see a lighted sidewalk leading out to Main Street from the hotel. Mr. Longo pointed out that plans include a feeder road off Perry Avenue to the hotel, as well as walkways that would lead to Canal Crossways adjacent to Keystone Place, as well as Three Mile Overlook at the end of Perry Avenue. Each would provide access to Main Street, he said.

Members also asked what colors will be used for the exterior. Mr. Biggers said that the brick will likely be red, but the color for the clapboards is still under consideration. It was agreed that the group will appear before the committee again once the color palette has been decided.

Mr. Darling said that the next step will be to go before the Bourne Zoning Board of Appeals and the Bourne Planning Board. If all goes well, with no further delays as the project moves through the permitting phase, he expects to begin construction in June. The hotel would likely open the following year, hopefully in May 2018, he said.