And five-story art building no longer planned

Rockland hotel project on hold

By Stephen Betts | Aug 08, 2017
Photo by: Stuart Smith An artist's rendering of the 65-room hotel proposed three years ago by Stuart Smith.

Rockland — A 65-room hotel proposed more than three years ago for the Rockland waterfront is no closer to reality, but the developer said he expects to move ahead at some point.

And a proposal two years ago for a five-story building on Winter Street to store valuable art work has been scrapped. Instead, a building in the Industrial Park is planned to be converted for that use.

Stuart Smith said Monday, Aug. 7, that nothing is being done currently on a proposal he unveiled in February 2014 for a "classic old New England" hotel that would be located on land owned by Rockland Harbor Park LLC that is currently occupied by a large gazebo and parking lot adjacent to the Boston Financial Data Services office complex.

Smith is part-owner of Rockland Harbor Park LLC.

Smith said he expects some day the hotel will be built, but had no timetable. He said he has been busy with other projects. One project was a 22-room hotel on Bay View Street in Camden.

The proposed Rockland hotel did not receive any city approvals, which would have expired by this point if they had been granted.

The proposal at the time was estimated at $6.5 million for a hotel that would have four stories on the water side and three on the Ocean Street side.

Five-story art center scrapped

Another major commercial project that had been unveiled but did not move forward was the proposed $6 million, five-story Starfire building that would have been erected on the site of a parking lot behind the Dowling Walsh Gallery.

The building would have been for retail operations on the street level, while the upper floors would have consisted of high-end storage for collectors.

The Rockland Planning Board approved the project in November 2015.

But Rockland Code Enforcement Officer John Root said that the developer has opted to convert a building in the Industrial Park rather than build a new structure.

Jacob Dowling, through Merrill Drive LLC, purchased in August 2016 a building and property at 15 Merrill Drive. The building had been used years ago by Lydon Bricher for manufacturing decorative table mats.

The purchase price was $850,000, according to city assessment records. Merrill Drive LLC obtained a mortgage of $4.3 million from Charles Akre Jr. of Middleburg, Va., for the property, according to the Knox County Registry of Deeds.

The architectural firm of ARS Architecture placed a mechanic's lien of $101,503 on the property July 26, claiming it is owed the money for research, preliminary design work, design development, and construction administration, according to a filing in the Registry of Deeds.

Comments (5)
Posted by: Stephen K Carroll | Aug 09, 2017 08:52

Guess Stuart has been busy. Too busy to even mow the grass on the board walk which is beginning to look a little shabby. Çaulie would never have allowed this. What a great man.



Posted by: Stephen K Carroll | Aug 09, 2017 08:52

Guess Stuart has been busy. Too busy to even mow the grass on the board walk which is beginning to look a little shabby. Çaulie would never have allowed this. What a great man.



Posted by: Stephen Betts | Aug 08, 2017 13:23

I read the deed from Bracebridge to Rockland Harbor Park LLC in 2007. I see no such deed restriction.



Posted by: Amy Files | Aug 08, 2017 10:36

There were rumors that the hotel couldn't be built because the property deed required that views not be blocked... Steve Betts, could you confirm whether or not this rumor is true?



Posted by: Dale Hayward | Aug 08, 2017 09:51

Mechanics lien is a great way to start a project, instills confidence.



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