The hotel-area redeveloper, Jack Cust, has proposed a new design for the redevelopment project that retains the exteriors of the two most historically significant buildings on the Main Street portion of the project -- the Union Hotel and 90 Main St. For the Union Hotel, the north wall, west wall (along Main St.), and about half of the south wall will be retained, along with the roofline, so that the hotel will look just like it does today. For 90 Main, the entire exterior of the historic building will be retained. Each building has sections added to the rear that are not historic and will be removed.
The changes reflect the developer’s desire to address the historic concerns expressed by some without rendering the project economically infeasible. The changes reduce the amount of retail space, which in turn reduces the parking requirement. These reductions in retail space and parking are what allow the Main Street profile to remain at the same height as today. The overall footprint of the project does not change, so this does not affect the planning board’s current study of whether to expand the area in need of redevelopment. Council will discuss these changes in a public meeting and decide whether to officially incorporate them into the redeveloper agreement.