Developer seeks to demolish, rebuild Bath hotel

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BATH — The Planning Board had its first look Tuesday at a developer’s plan to demolish the Shipyard Inn and build a more modern hotel in its place.

The applicant, Auburncourt LLC, has an option to purchase the property off Leeman Highway (Route 1), if it receives project approval from the city, according to Michael Gotto of Stoneybrook Consultants, who has been working with Auburncourt.

Development of the 139 Richardson St. site, formerly a Holiday Inn, will need site plan approval and possibly a contracting zone, to facilitate height and setback modifications, City Planner Andrew Deci wrote in an April 7 memo to the board.

The Planning Board had questions about landscaping, lighting and building design, but nothing in particular stood out as a major issue, Deci said Wednesday morning. No one from the public spoke on the issue, he added.

The developer now must submit an application for those approvals to the Planning Board, Deci said. Gotto said that could occur next month. The City Council would also have to vote on the contract zoning request.

The existing hotel, built in 1975, has 141 guest rooms and sits on a 2.9-acre property, according to a March 31 letter from Gotto to Deci.

Auburncourt intends to raze the building and replace it with a four-story hotel with 87 guest rooms. Parking would be available for 105 guests, and the site would have two access roads.

The plan also includes space for a 16-room, four-story expansion, Gotto said.

Auburncourt hopes to begin construction by June, he said.

Alex Lear can be reached at 781-3661 ext. 113 or Follow him on Twitter: @learics.

A Maine native and Colby College graduate, Alex has been covering coastal communities since 2001, and currently handles Bath, Topsham, Cumberland, and North Yarmouth. He and his wife, Lauren, live in the Portland area, and Alex recently released his third album of original music.