NewburyportNews.com, Newburyport, MA

Local News

March 10, 2014

New England Development says they are still considering hotel

As city officials discuss planning issues relating to the downtown and the waterfront, New England Development continues to express an interest in building a hotel near the corner of Merrimac and Titcomb streets.

Scott Kelly, a vice president of development for the company, returned a phone call last week, and he said the corporation is still “considering a hotel of 80 rooms, plus or minus.”

Since the prospect of a hotel is a part of so many planning discussions, the fact that New England Development is continuing to explore the idea grabs attention.

Kelly said that the decision to build a hotel here would be arrived at through “an internal process” but that no paperwork has been executed with the city at this point. Nor did Kelly have anything to report on whether the company would be part of a public-private parking garage that is also part of the discussion about the downtown.

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On other municipal fronts, the local Board of Registrars will consider the residency of City Councilor Allison Heartquist at its next session on March 19.

This is a meeting, not a hearing, and board members are expected to discuss whether a formal hearing should be held on whether Heartquist actually lives at 21 53rd St. as she has formally stated.

Heartquist’s residency in Ward 1 has been challenged by Mike Ferrick, the opponent she defeated (650-343) in the November election.

He claims she lives in Ward 3 in a Market Street residence occupied by her parents, though the Board of Registrars’ voters list from 2013 shows her at 21 53rd St. as she claims.

Members of the Board of Registrars are E. Douglas Bolick, Brian Sullivan, Mary Zinck and city clerk Richard Jones. Jones has indicated he will limit his participation to assembling documents, so he remains clear of conflict-of-interest concerns.

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