WATERVILLE — The Planning Board on Monday will consider preliminary and final plans for a $26 million, 47,692-square-foot hotel on Main Street proposed by Colby College.

The meeting is scheduled for 7 p.m. in the Chace Community Forum at the Bill & Joan Alfond Main Street Commons at 150 Main St. downtown.

Colby College officials announced recently that they hope to break ground next month on the hotel at 9 Main St. and open it in the fall of next year.

The Planning Board will consider the project under the city’s site plan review and subdivision ordinance and look at issues such as how traffic will move around the site, where water will flow and whether the Waterville Sewerage District, for instance, has adequate capacity to serve the hotel’s needs, according to City Planner Ann Beverage.

The city has received letters of approval from both that District and the Kennebec Water District, but not yet from the Waterville Fire Department and city engineer, Beverage said Thursday.

“That’s the main thing — they need to satisfy the concerns of those four departments,” she said.

A letter from the Sewerage District’s superintendent, John J. Jansen, dated May 17, says the district has sufficient capacity to support the project and the district will need an engineering estimate for average gallons per day of water anticipated at the hotel. A letter from Water District engineer Jefferson Longfellow, dated May 31, says the district has enough capacity to serve the hotel and any work and relocation must conform to district standards, which includes relocating a hydrant within the public way and abandoning any unused existing service at the main.

The Planning Board on Monday could approve preliminary and final plans for the hotel, approve them with conditions, or decide to put off making decisions until more information is received, for instance.

The facade of The Lockwood Hotel will be limestone, in keeping with past and present Waterville buildings, including Post Office Square. Image provided by Baskervill

Plans call for the Lockwood Hotel, to be named for the former Lockwood textile mill complex to its south on Water Street, to have four stories, 53 rooms, and a restaurant and a bar for hotel guests as well as the public. The hotel will have entrances on both Main and Front streets and include meeting rooms and a fitness center for guests.

Construction of the hotel is the next step in continuing efforts by Colby and the city to revitalize the downtown. The hotel brings Colby’s investment downtown to more than $75 million. The total downtown investments, including Colby projects as well as present and planned projects funded by others, is expected to be $100 million, according to officials.

Colby President David A. Greene said recently that the  hotel will be a little less than half the size of Colby’s $25.5 million mixed-use residential complex farther north on Main Street — the Bill & Joan Alfond Main Street Commons.

Baskervill designed the hotel. The hotel, restaurant and bar will be managed by Charlestowne Hotels. Landry/French Construction Co., which built the Alfond Commons, also will build the hotel. Colby has committed to working with local vendors and contractors on the project as it did with the Alfond building, which put $14.5 million directly into the economy through local workers and businesses, according to Greene.

The hotel’s windows will be similar to those of other area buildings and the facade will be limestone, in keeping with past and present Waterville buildings, including Post Office Square, which is at the northern tip of downtown and houses Mainely Brews.

The restaurant, to be called “Front & Main,” will be full-service and offer a diverse menu with an emphasis on produce from Maine farmers. It will have entrances from both inside and outside the hotel, and will feature glass walls on the ground level and a patio for seasonal use on the north side.

Colby and Waterville Creates! are raising money for an $18 million to $20 million center for art and film at 93 Main St. next to Castonguay Square, near the planned hotel, which will be redesigned as part of downtown revitalization. It will be called the Paul J. Schupf Art Center and will include a living room area.

The hotel will feature on-site parking, as well as parking in a city-owned lot on Front Street in which Colby has leased spaces. It also will include a terraced patio and lawn on the south end of the building, where the former Levine’s clothing store was located.

The hotel will be built on the site of the former Crescent Hotel, previously the site of the Lockwood House, which opened in 1880, and its patrons were overnight passengers of the narrow gauge railway. The building owner was Reuben W. Dunn, an 1868 Colby graduate who became a Colby trustee.

Greene said Dunn helped finance the Lockwood mills and helped hire Amos Lockwood, the mills’ architect, for whom the complex was named. Lockwood was a famous architect who did projects up and down the East Coast and engineered a fire retardant system for the Lockwood mills, using timber designed to slow down fire.

Officials say they do not anticipate that the public would be prohibited from using any parking spaces in the city-owned lot on Front Street during construction, though some staging might be placed in the smaller former Camden National Bank lot north of the city-owned lot.  They say 60 hotel jobs are anticipated and will include positions in hospitality, front desk, restaurant and other areas.

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