DRB gets first look at Hampton Inn

MANCHESTER - The Hampton Inn and Suites presented in front of the Development Review Board during a preliminary hearing on Wednesday night. Kirk Moore, of BMA architects, said this hearing was to get some feedback before their actual hearing on May 14.

The Mullaney Hospitality Group of Sayville, N.Y. hopes to purchase High Ridge Plaza, the five acre parcel of land on Route 7A. The development will feature a 98 room hotel in the back of the parcel and 3 commercial buildings in the front, according to the plans announced to date.

"The proposal that we're going to be bringing to you, is to take down all the buildings on the site, scrape the site and basically start from scratch," Moore said. "Which would entail putting the hotel at the back of the site."

The potential site plan also calls for opening up the existing mini-roundabout and making it more like the roundabout where "malfunction junction" used to be, he said. A pocket park will also be installed at the corner of Hillvale Road, where there is currently a building.

This hearing was a chance for the DRB to express concerns or ask questions about the preliminary plan. Moore said one of his own questions has to deal with amounts of green space and asphalt, especially in the front of the buildings.

One of the issues the DRB had with the building design was the stone on the front of the building, as well as the gable towards the front. They seemed to favor the design that Mullaney Hospitality Group presented to the Manchester Village when they were seeking to purchase the Village Country Inn property.

The building will feature clapboards, shutters and a "New England" design. It will not be a large square building, with a flat rood, Moore said.

"This is a work in progress," he said. "Which is why we're showing these vignette sketches tonight."

In other news, the DRB saw a change of use permit application for a frozen yogurt shop and a ticket booth in front of Spiral Scoops for Hills Alive, an art festival program that has run for the past two years. The decisions on these applications will be issued in 45 days.

They also approved roof work on the WEQX building on Highland Avenue after extended debate. The roof needs replacement, and the current owners would prefer to replace it with something other than a slate roof, which it currently has.


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