Old style New England is the new style

Stuart and Marianne Smith propose new hotel for Rockland's waterfront

Wed, 02/05/2014 - 8:00pm

    ROCKLAND — Stuart Smith’s Rockland Harbor Park LLC has submitted plans to the Rockland code enforcement office to construct a 65-room hotel at 12 Water Street on the Rockland waterfront. The parcel is currently home to a building housing Boston Financial. The former Amalfi Restaurant, which has been vacant since closing a year ago, was also in the existing building. Archer’s Restaurant sits on the far side of the property. The hotel is to be built between Boston Financial and Archers’ with access off of Ocean Street.

    Plans also call for converting the Amalfi space into a daycare center and fitness center. Smith said there is no connection between the hotel and the fitness/daycare center. Both the fitness center and daycare will be open to the public. The two were placed together on the plans submitted to code enforcement office because they occupy the same land and construction of both are to take place at the same time. Smith said the two on the same request was a matter of convenience.

    Smith said the room rates for the hotel would be in the mid-point price range.

    “Anywhere from $150 to $300 a night,” said Smith

    Smith said part of the reason for his decision to open the $6.5 million hotel in Rockland was based on his success with his two hotels in Camden. Smith owns the Grand Harbor Inn and Lord Camden Inn.

    “The Grand Harbor Inn and Lord Camden Inn have been very successful for us,” said Smith. “We had a lot of people stay with us there who were attending events in Rockland — the Lobster Festival, Blues Festival, or visiting the Farnsworth. That certainly plays into things. We see a need for hotel rooms in Rockland. Marianne and I have always wanted to be able to provide public access to the waterfront.”

    Smith said he chose theNew England style design for the new hotel because he had always wanted that look.

     “John Hansen, our architect, connected it for us,” said Smith. “He was familiar with that property and had a really good sense of what would fit in there. He designed the building when it was MBNA and he designed the Archers’ building. What we wanted was an old look, of classic, old style, summer New England. We wanted people to say how old is this place? To come out of the hotel and get onto the boardwalk and walk the harbor and right into town to shop or go to restaurants would be really nice.”

    Smith said foundation work could begin this fall if everything is approved by the city.

    “We have to be real careful not to disrupt people on the boardwalk or at Archer’s Restaurant, so we’ll try to work in the off season,” he said. “To complete the project will probably take about a year and a half.”

    There is a marina that sits on the land, as well, and is run by Trident Yacht Marina. The marina can accommodate 45 boats and Smith said there were no plans to do any renovations to that section, but was confident that boats tying up there for the night would use the hotel.

    “We’re really excited to be working with the city of Rockland,” he said.