A small group of businessmen and local officials gathered Friday to break ground on a new Hilton hotel planned for Commercial Street.

A 135-room, six-story boutique hotel with a rooftop bar is expected to open in spring 2021. Branded Canopy by Hilton, the hotel is being developed by Jim Brady’s Fathom Cos. Brady opened another boutique property, the Press Hotel, on Congress Street in 2015.

“It’s an exciting time for positive and responsible growth in Portland, Maine,” Brady said in a statement. “We have deep roots in this city and are building this hotel with a keen eye for design and functionality with thoughtful and surprising amenities. We know we can deliver a fresh approach to hospitality from Canopy that is true and genuine to the Portland community.”

A rendering of the boutique hotel planned by Fathom Cos. and Hilton at the corner of Center and Commercial streets in Portland. Courtesy Fathom Cos.

The project got unanimous approval from the city’s Historic Preservation and Planning boards. As a condition of its occupancy permit, the developers agreed to put $519,000 in the city’s housing fund to create affordable housing. The city requires hotels with 10 or more rooms for rent to create low-income housing or pay a fee to the fund.

When it opens, the Canopy will join a bustling hotel scene on Commercial Street.

The Courtyard By Marriott Portland, a block away, has been operating at 321 Commercial St. for the last five years. Hilton Garden Inn Portland Downtown, half a mile away at 65 Commercial St., opened in 2003. A hotel also is planned on the old Rufus Deering Lumber property at 383 Commercial St.

Fathom Cos. selected Pittsfield-based Cianbro Corp. as construction manager;  Virginia-based Baskervill, which designed a new hotel for Colby College in Waterville, for architecture; and Portland-based Ealain Studios for interior design.

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