Hotel Chain Eyes Sawmill Site in West Haven for $10 Million Project

By Zaretsky, Mark | New Haven Register (New Haven, CT), November 22, 2016 | Go to article overview

Hotel Chain Eyes Sawmill Site in West Haven for $10 Million Project


Zaretsky, Mark, New Haven Register (New Haven, CT)


WEST HAVEN » A Kansas-based hotel company wants to build a $10 million, four-story, 123-room all-suites hotel on the long-vacant former site of Staples at 480 Sawmill Road, the developer and the city announced Tuesday.

WoodSpring Hotels LLC, based in Wichita, Kansas, is still in the process of filing applications and plans with the city but went before the Planning and Zoning Commission Tuesday night seeking a regulation change to allow hotels, motels, "boatels" or inns as-of- right in that Commercial Design District.

The commission voted unanimously in favor of a zoning regulation text change that would once again allow hotels in the zone, which included them until 2006. Current PZC members and staff did not know why hotels were removed from the zone previously.

Hotels currently are allowed in the commercial zones along Route 1 and Route 34, as well as in the commercial areas along the shore, said Assistant City Planner David Killeen.

Mayor Ed O'Brien, a non-voting, ex-officio member of the commission, told the PZC he thought that "if a company wants to come and make the investment that these guys are" in West Haven, "they should be able to."

The hotel would be right off Interstate 95's Exit 42 close to two other major hotel franchises on Sawmill Road, also known as Route 162: the seven-story, 100-room Best Western Executive Hotel at 490 Sawmill Road and the four-story, 101-room Hampton Inn & Suites at 510 Sawmill Road.

WoodSpring describes itself as the nation's fastest-growing extended stay hotel brand.

The 48,391-square-foot hotel it wants to build in West Haven would be its first in Connecticut and one of its first in the Northeast, WoodSpring Senior Vice President of Development Scott W. Bixler said at the PZC's public hearing.

The company recently began construction of hotels in Saugus, Massachusetts, and Merrimack, New Hampshire, and has yet to begin construction of one planned for Providence, Rhode Island, Bixler said during and after the hearing.

"The New Haven market, particularly West Haven, is a great fit for our continued growth," said Bixlery in a news release.

"Leading industries like health care and manufacturing, the proximity to New York City and Interstate 95, ongoing construction projects and universities like Yale and Quinnipiac and the University of New Haven all attract guests who want the homelike comforts an extended stay hotel provides at prices that fit their budget," Bixler said. …

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Hotel Chain Eyes Sawmill Site in West Haven for $10 Million Project
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