November 27 2015

Plans for Boutique Hotel at 3rd Ave. Discussed at Planning Board

By: Rich Hosford

Initial plans for a boutique hotel looking to move into 3rd Ave. were before the Planning Board recently and received some feedback from members. 


As reported on BNEWS, Nordblom Company, which owns the development park, informed the board it had reached an agreement with LodgeWorks Partners, L.P., out of Kansas, for one of its Archer Hotels to be located at the corner of 3rd Ave. and Middlesex Turnpike. A hotel is allowed at the park under the Planned Development District agreement approved by Town Meeting in 2007. 


Archer Hotels are boutique establishments. There is currently one in New York and two others are under construction, one in Austin, Texas and another in Napa, California. 


Nordblom’s Senior Vice President and Director of Mixed-Use Projects, Todd Fremont-Smith, said the Archer Hotel fit with the theme of 3rd Ave., which has been filled with more unique and high-end restaurants and stores. He said Nordblom has tried to avoid large chains when selecting which businesses to locate there. 


During the November 19 Planning Board meeting, Freemont-Smith, attorney Robert Buckley and Vice President of Development at LodgeWorks Bob Mannon laid out some details of the proposed Burlington location. 


They said that in the plans it will be a 147-room full-service boutique hotel featuring restaurant service, a spa and other amenities. There are also different tiers of rooms, including standard rooms, King Studios, Queen Doubles and Archer Dens. The Archer Dens are the highest tier rooms and offer a seating area as well as a kitchen area with a microwave, sink and utensils. Some will also have dishwashers. 

The kitchen setup caused some concerns among a couple members of the board, who said they wanted to ensure this would not be a place where people would stay long term or live. 

Mannon said that situation was unlikely considering the rooms cost more than $200 per night. He said the target clientele is business people who normally stay two or three days on business trips. He said some may stay longer if they are working on projects but he didn’t expect anyone to stay for months on end. He added the kitchen amenities are meant to allow guests to reheat coffee and perhaps dine in the room. 

Another concern raised by board members was the orientation of the building. In the plans the front entrance faces 3rd Ave., leaving the side of the building facing Middlesex Turnpike. There is also a plan for a parking lot behind the building, with some of the spots facing the road. Member William Gaffney said he thought it would be better if the hotel “faced Burlington.” 

Freemont-Smith said a lot of thought had gone into the plans and said there will be no drop-off in architecture on the side of the building. He said once the board really reviews the plans he thinks they will be happy with how it will look from the road. 

The board voted to continue the hearing until Thursday, December 3. 

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